Tuesday, 25 April 2017 00:00
What would a resurrected Woolworths sell?
The ex-CEO of Woolworths UK Tony Page wants to bring back the pic'n'mix high street stalwart – but what would it sell?
If you ask those older than Millennial what they remember about Woolworths, they will wax lyrical about sweets, broken biscuits, cheap toys, kitchen utensils, trying on make up – and of course music.
It was to Woolworths that teenagers went to listen to the latest releases and chill with their friends. With the upsurge in demand for vinyl, this could be one niche seller, but what would be on offer in the rest of the store?
Wilko, Poundstretcher et al and the supermarkets have the budget household goods business sewn up, and if make-up, broken biscuits, sweets and cheap toys were profitable, Woolworths wouldn't have gone bust in the first place.
It would be good to have the name back on the High Street, but shouldn't Tony Page by working out a stronger business case first? It is usually the new boys that steal market share – often overnight.
No-one in the Loyalty Magazine office can remember a relaunched retail brand coming back with a storm. It is true that companies can adapt, change and develop – in fact it is essential. But can real profit be made out of nostalgia? Tony Page says he is still emotionally attached to the brand, but would this be enough? There are a lot of people who would be delighted to welcome Woolies back, but they are all getting on a bit.