Woolworths: an imaginary return

THIS WEEKEND, we’ll take a stroll down the nostalgic high street and pop into Woolworths. Pick and mix sweets, black plimsolls, exercise books, clothes dyes, needles and thread, records and cassettes, boards games, paint, and lots more – it’s fair to say that the product range in Woolworths was not too shabby!

Woolworths was once part of the high street DNA …

And it would feel like you were on another planet if there was no Woolworths. Ask people if they remember shopping in Woolworths – the chances are that they’ll go into detail about their past purchases – they may even go a bit further and pull out something they’ve managed to keep hold of with the Woolworths price sticker still on it. Even though Woolworths no longer resides on our high street, there are some of us that are secretly hoping it’s all been a dream: Costa, Starbucks and Quality Save don’t really exist, but Woolworths, BHS, Our Price Records and Bejam are still real, alive and kicking!

But what if …

Woolworths re-emerged? What would the 2020 shop layout look like? The pick and mix would be located at the back the store making the escape route a bit more challenging for any shifty confectionery-clutching thieves. Also located somewhere at the back would be Costa Coffee – the rattling of coffee cups and saucers would be heard whilst roaming around the clothing section. The clothing would come under the Winfield Willoughby brand – yep Holly Willoughby is in on the fashion design act. The selection and prices for electricals would prompt Curries to up-their-game, and the magazine section would be on par with WHSmith. A new addition would be quite a large alcohol section filled with a unique selection of craft beers, flavoured gin, bottles of lightly spiced rum, premium cider, exclusive bottles of port and wines that have the Winfield Select in posh gold writing on the label. The new strapline seen in stores and television commercials: ‘Woolworths has changed – see for yourself’.


The Milk Tray Man, mouthfuls of Angel Delight, smashing Smash Hits magazine, splashing it all over with Brut aftershave, World of Sport or Grandstand? A fat wallet or your flexible friend the Access Card? Could you survive a term at Grange Hill? Nostalgia with enough clout to send you flying back to the 80s and 70s in the hardback book Section N Underpass. Click image below to get the rundown:

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