Sad farewell to a retail giant

GLUM-faced shoppers are today looking elsewhere to spend their cash after expressing sadness at the closure of Woolworths.The Ipswich store was one of the first in the country to close down after a final day of trading on Saturday.

GLUM-faced shoppers are today looking elsewhere to spend their cash after expressing sadness at the closure of Woolworths.

The Ipswich store was one of the first in the country to close down after a final day of trading on Saturday.

Bargain-hunters scavenged the last remaining items while sorry-looking staff prepared to find other jobs.

Jane Clare, of Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, and her six-year-old son, Amadi, said they were “totally gutted” at the institution's demise.

They often used the shop to buy cheap school uniforms and had made one last visit to bag a souvenir.

Mrs Clare said: “I couldn't believe it when they said it was closing. It has been going for so long.

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“I'm sure it must be bad management at a higher level that got it into so much debt.”

Amadi added: “It is very sad because I liked the Ladybird Clothes and we sometimes got nice books and toys from there.”

The collapsed retail giant was placed into administration last month after 99 years trading and all of its stores will close over the next week.

Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Clacton branches closed on Saturday, while another batch of 200 were set to finish tomorrow, a further 200 on January 2 and the final closures by January 5.

Also speaking outside the Carr Street store, Mick Wright, of Avondale Road, Ipswich, said: “It is a shame that after all this time it's had to go.

“The big stores have to compete with the internet. The bulk of our shopping was done online.”

Irene Ellinor, from Felixstowe, added: “The store has been here a long time.

“Where am I going to get children's plimsolls and Ladybird clothes from now? It is a real shame.”

Deloitte, which confirmed the closures after failing to find a buyer for the business, said 22,000 permanent staff and 5,000 temporary workers would be affected nationally, although some would be kept on for a short period.

Frank Woolworth opened his first store in Pennsylvania, America, on June 21, 1879, with the revolutionary idea of setting a fixed price for his goods, either five or ten cents.

Are you sad to see the end of Woolworths? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.