Death sale of Woolworths disappoints punters

11 December 2008

Even in death it seems the once iconic Woolies can't quite get it right. The much-hyped closing down sale started today but most shoppers seem to be walking away disappointed. The BBC reported that the police were forced to close the road in Edinburgh due to customers descending in their automotive hordes, however most walked away angry and disappointed at the reductions.

Here's a selection of comments from the last page of the HUKD thread (around 500 replies so far if you care to sort through them!):

micoo - Their so called "sale" has brought prices down to only slightly more than everywhere else now. for example Fallout 3 on PS3/Xbox was 36 quid in the sale while gamestation do it for 20 and game for 25(i think).

Mush001 - Just back from Woolies, Lets just say I wasted my time.

deard69 - Been to my local Woolworths today, what a load of ****, still everything just 20% off, which is the same promotion they were doing weeks ago, or even worse than when they were 3 for 2 a month ago, store was packed tho, so very clever marketing, plenty of dumbos falling for it.

John Locke - There have been items in Woolies on a 50% sale for over two years so when i looked in earlier i didnt really expect any great bargains. Same cheap tat at same over inflated prices, and then they have the cheek to claim its in a "SALE".

Gaz - ...they had discounted the first Stone Roses album to £13.99. It's available for £3.99 online. As good a summary as any as to why Woolies are tits up, and why I'm not sorry to see them go.

Deb19742008 - Was in Woolworths in N Ireland today. Save your money and go buy elsewhere! 10% and 20% off most stock. Managed to pick up a couple of school summer dresses for 2 quid though. Not worth a visit in my opinion, not yet anyway.

And to sum it all up:

mcs - it's about time that some of these rip off companies in rip off britain go down for not keep pace with us the buyers and the fact no longer will we put up with these prices we are now retail savvy and shop around and use websites like this...

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Joff
    The savvy shopper will be nabbing all the items Woolies is/was famous for. Rather than head for the high value electricals (which would probably sell for RRP anyway), go for the towel bundles, light bulbs and wooden kitchen utensils. Personally, I'm stocking up on shoe laces and 3-pin plugs.
  • Chris B.
    Just so some people know that the sale didnt begin today as stated in the "trustworthy" press...... and for your information all people care about is a bargain, no care to the 30,000 people about to lose their jobs. Alot of people are pathetic, and up themselfs, think about the staff instead of bargains!
  • Davie t.
    Well i popped into woolies today for there so called closing down sale!!!! Just the usuall all the dunbo`s in there snapping things up which even with a so called closing down is still cheaper elsewere.. Was at the ps3 game section when 1 old dear said ohhh games are cheap i said dont think so as usall woolies are over priced they had tiger woods 09 for 39.99 with 20 % off lol I said you can get this game for 19.99 online free delivery... No wonder woolies are going down the pan...Good riddance to over priced goods Although i am sorry about the job losses for the people especially at this time of year it will be extra bad! But at least instead of buying things in woolies shop online it saves pennies
  • Martin
    They had the best advertising they could ever get today free of charge on the BBC. Every news bulletin on Radio 5, people were told that Woolies had a sale on. No mention of other stores sales, just Woolies. Chris B - The management haven't cared about the staff or the customers for years. The reason they are bust is because people do not want to buy things from Woolies at the prices they want for their items.hey are just not competitive on any front, be it children's clothes, homeware, electricals or DVD/CDs. If people were willing to pay full price, the store would not be in trouble. If people didn't go for bargains, they would not go at all, and the staff that were not sensible enough to look for jobs elsewhere over the past few weeks would be redundant before Christmas. At least while people think they will get bargains, the shops will stay open and the staff will have jobs. Bargain hunters are keeping the staff in employment. Although you might be right, it might be better for them if they were just made redundant now and forced to look elsewhere for work.
  • Mike H.
    WOOLIES are an absolute joke, won't miss them, turn the lights off on the way out.
  • Chris B.
    Martin - The fact of the matter is, woolworths have not advertised their closing down sale yet, the point of sale has only come into stores today to be put up near the end of trade, Everything is due to be dropped evan further soon, give or take the entertainment stock as they would make a loss on it. The closing down sale which starts TOMORROW will include items up to 90% off. You are right, woolies is so over priced, but its only overpriced due to places like tesco who can afford to undercut alot of other high street stores. And yes games are cheaper online, but thats because they come from places like jersey. Every high street store has to buy from wholesalers, hence why prices are abit more expensive. Also its not the case that if people think they are getting bargains staff still have a job, as no more deliveries are now due from warehouses, so when the stock has gone, its gone! Now i work at woolworths and customers are being so rude as if it is our fault, its not nice to work there, and the only reason people are staying til the end is the chance of a little bit of money at the end of it.
  • Crossy
    @ Chris B I care about my pocket and my familys pocket before anyone else`s. Woolworths has gone down the pan simply because the prices are been over inflated for years. The majority of the market is electricl goods inc games, dvd`s etc, Woolworths have been selling at full retail (even online) and in some cases a tad less whlst other companys have altered there prices to compete with other retailers. I dont think i will be buying a game £44.99 when i can pick it up for £20 somwhere else and yet you want people feel guilty about that? You need a relality check...
  • Michael
    I have never been a fan of Woolworths and have always found identical products elsewhere for considerably less. It has been months before I last set foot in a Woolworths store and I cannot even begin to recall when I last purchased something! Curious, I visited the Reading store today. On offer was the usual Woolworths tat with next-to-nothing in terms of reductions - 10% to 30%, yet signs told me to expect reductions of up to 50%. Despite the junk on offer and the unattractive price tags, the checkout queues were very long.
  • derek
    Good riddance to bad rubbish , everyday goods at over the odds prices has caused this , nothing to do with the current climate of watching our pennies. Considering all the young people working there and todays online purchasing you would have thought someone somewhere would have had the idea to try and be competitive , if not with online businesses then with other local traders .The staff have also had plenty of time to search for other means of employment yet still stand around with a vacant look in their eyes waiting for some fool to pick up the tab for their owners bad business sense. I feel nothing for them at all im afraid , if my employer told me we were going in to liquidation and i may not get paid/redundancy because of the financial situation i would look for work immediately and leave as soon as a job came along. My allegiance is to the employer who guarantees my wage to pay my bills and feed my family , obviously some people need a kick up the arse in that department.
  • Steve
    Woollies should not all the comments like 'I only ever bought xxx there' and just stock those items. Perhaps the next incarnation would fare better. My commiserations to the staff - not a nice time of year for this to happen. Steve
  • Kevin
    Well said Derek. These people knew that really they'd be lucky to have jobs until Christmas. That's only 2 weeks away now anyway! It's sad but seriously, it's not like they didn't know they'd probably be unemployed by Christmas and have no job by new year whatever was going to happen with the sale of Woolworths. Problem is a lot of the staff would only be able to do the same sort of job in other shops and really the only work around like that atm ends on January 8th! Theres not the demand for a lot of those jobs, but I bet theres a lot of people who have been looking, preparing and getting ready to look for a job in the new year. If they aren't they're asking for trouble (doesn't take that much effort to get a cv ready, make a list of places you can try, and even look in the paper for jobs as closing dates for interviews won't be until the new year now anyway. If I worked at Woolies? I'd have helped myself to loads of stock the day the problems were announced and have a 'I don't give a toss' attuitude to my job until it was lost.
  • Si
    its been mentioned above but the closing down sales hasnt been advertised by woolies its the fantastic BBC and radio who have done the job.but however my local radio station has advertised it as a 50% everything which thinking about would be that cause afew problems especially for one lady who stood next to a till ranting how the sale isnt good enough. but think about they've still got to pay wages for 30,000 staff including me. very few things changed in the % off products like 40% off bikes 20% off mobiles. this morning at the briefing which lasted half an hour past half 9 meant the shop was still shut.people were queuing into the car park an round the side of the building.parking was terrible people were parked in the asda over the road and even one of my friend parked in a nearby prison car park.from 9.40 til 3 each till had a queue of 10 at least. our warehouse is emtpy people dont realise that i got told i was on a consultancy period for redundancy.then to make things better the shop is too busy to get into asiles to tidy what the vultures have left from other departments dumped. and the top it all off someone let a trolley roll into the side off my car which i wont be able to afford
  • highguyuk
    If Staff Leave now - they don't get redundancy pay. Simple answer to some of the rubbish posted above.
  • Kevin
    Some of the comments on this website sum up just how greedy our society has become. I and 30,000 other Woolies employees are about to lose our jobs and people are moaning over a little bit of discount. At least you have your bloody jobs to go to! People seem to think that they are entitled to get things for next to nothing because Woolies is closing down. It isn't the staff's fault that this sale isn’t up to customers’ expectations, so please don't take it out on us. We only found out about this sale Wednesday night, the same time we got told to expect redundancy. No extra staff were put on for this sale so the stores weren't prepared. And contrary to what some customers say, prices have been reduced (e.g. clothing, stationery, party ware and DIY). I had one woman at the weekend who seemed to shocked at the price of some chopping boards; I thought she was going to complain that they were expensive, instead she said that they were extremely cheap and decided to buy some more. Not to tarnish all customers with same brush, I’d like to thank the countless number of customers who have given us their best wishes and have shown sincere concern as to the future of our jobs. I'm in no doubt that, judging by the majority of the customers I’ve talked to, Woolies will be sorely missed in our town.
  • Andy
    Look yes lots of people are losing jobs but why do you expect other people to care, would you if I lost my job? Woolworths deserve to go for not being competitive, plain and simple
  • Mike H.
    WOOLWORTHS top Management are still trying to rape the customer on the way out, have they not learned from running the business into the ground with their philosophical management bullshit? I feel for the staff that 'just work there' (Quite right Andy, I don't think they'd give a crap if I lost my job) especially this close to Christmas, trying to find a job a month either side of Chrimbo is a feckin' nightmare. But management are still trying to squeeze what they can out of the consumer to top up their Christmas bonus, whish I'm sure they'll get for making the biggest single profit in 99 years of bussiness on one day (by blagging the 'regular' customer, I very rightly might add!) Top management will not find it hard to move to other companies, as they can apply their dumbass business methadology elsewhere, but retail staff will find it difficult as the sector crashes about our bargain-hunting ears. Looking at the positives, it's good to know the savvy consumer now has control over the market, we will buy the best quality at the best price, and if you ain't sellin' we ain't fuckin' buyin'! Fcuk you WOOLWORTHS top management for raping the consumer and your staff, If you're going to rape us, we're going to run your POS business into the feckin' ground, £13.99 for a CD with 20% off? you funding winkers! Merry Christmas BTW :)
  • Brent
    Quite why Woolworths' staff should come in for abuse or little sympathy I do not know. Working at these stores whist the vultures are circling, and knowing that you're out of a job in a fortnight, must be one of the most thankless tasks in the tedium that is retailing. Woolworths have been usurped by 'pound shops' and the internet, and the management failed to react to the marketplace. Thanks to the media, the staff now face a couple of weeks of extra misery. The public have been sucked in by the good old 'up to' merchandising trick. If you get sucked in, but don't like what you find, don't take it out on the staff - they've got enough to contend with.
  • welshdan
    I popped in to woolies yesterday in Cardiff and what a waste of time that was!! I asked the manager that was on duty, where are the 50% discounts that have been advertised everywhere? He tells me, sorry sir but if you look at the signs placed everywhere it says UP TO 50% OFF! Oh right, so where the hell are these discounts then! The most discount offered was 20% but most of the items there with that discount where over priced anyway....I say look elsewhere for bargains and hot prices because there's none in woolies.....MARKETING SCAM! BYE BYE WOOLIES, you've only yourselves to blame
  • well w.
    Posted by Andy | December 12th, 2008 at 9:19 am Look yes lots of people are losing jobs but why do you expect other people to care, would you if I lost my job? Quote. Guess that says more about you than other people. I get the feeling you don't care about anyone but yourself. You don't care about the hungry or people in Mumbai or their families as at the end of it why should you. And before you say what's that got to do with Woolworth staff perhaps you could look on it as it wasn't their fault but management. There kids wont have a happy Xmas and their parents will be worried about the future for their families. I don't expect to you care about every individual but at least show some sympathy for their loss of job especially at this time of the year and in the economic climate we're in
  • Scott P.
    As always in business it's the bigwigs above that make the decisions, they're too blame for this mess. I'm sure the employees have done an amazing job, sorting all this out with the thought at the end of it that it'll all be for nothing. The Stone Roses comment above is certainly one reason why I shop more online now, Woolworths fell out of touch with their pricings and even now they don't seem to get what's hot and what's not. I think Woolworths are going out of business just for not being competitve with their prices and also for not realising the correct market value for the products, bearing in mind that other stores are cheaper for stuff like DVD's, CD's and computer games.
  • John M.
    It's such a shame that anyone should lose their jobs at any time, let alone Christmas... But Woolworths have had this coming for a while, their business model seems to be to do lots of different things not particularly well. Their shops are a half hearted emulation of parts of Toys r us, WH Smith, HMV, Wilkinsons and a few others. That it has lasted as long as it has is a mystery in itself. This so called Sale will get people in, some may buy that wouldn't have otherwise making a buyout seem an attractive option, and maybe someone else will do things better.
  • John K.
    "Look yes lots of people are losing jobs but why do you expect other people to care, would you if I lost my job?" Well based on the sort of person you appear to be - probably not. I do care about woolworths going bust - it's a major employer in my (small) town and it's impact will be felt by a lot of people - not just those directly employed. As mentioned by others - the staff suffer from poor management, inconsiderate pikey shoppers and all in the run upo to christmas. but you don't care - glad I'm not you.
  • derek
    Well well , it actually says more about you that you expect people to be thinking of YOU rather than their own families and their jobs and their problems , your loosing your job , sad but its happening , instead of half the woolies staff sitting on their arses jumping on forums and moaning how about you get off your arse and go find another job and stop expecting people to feel sorry for you, we do , just not enough to let it bother us or ruin our christmas. Where were you when British steel cuts its work force ? ICI ? any other business ? were you there giving them support ? no you were in your silly little shop trying to sell over priced crap to people , well im afraid woolies bubble burst along time ago and this is part of the fallout , you a victim , get over it and move on like the rest of the world has ,you can always take some carrier bags home with you , the red and white will look quite festive.
  • well w.
    Derek I don't expect people to be thinking about me. I have a job and a reasonable income and I don't see the next year as a problem for me, (I don t work for woolworths and no one in my family works for them which you've seemed to pull out from thin air). I will be thinking around Christmas time about the people less well of than me and how lucky i am not to be one of them or to be honest, a dick like you.
  • Rich
    Derek - Bang out of order IMHO. Its a shop / business and there are far bigger rip off merchants out there. They have creditors to pay so if they give it all away theres a bigger impact than just people who work in the shop
  • dzhan
    I think that several different issues have been conflated here; the fate of Woolies as a business, the fate of the unfortunate employees and the merits or not of the Woolies supposed fire sale. As a consumer, it is totally understandable, as many have commented, that the Woolies business model has failed--for the things I want to buy there is always a cheaper or better option. That said, as my mum reminded me last night, Woolies is the only store in her small town that is not a charity shop, and will be missed. But such sentiments are insufficeinet to prop up a business that is clearly uncompetetive in the broader marketplace. And Woolie's bosses should have realized this a long time ago! That they didn't has precipitated this unfortunate climax--and these incompetents are the people at whom Woolies employees should direct their ire, not consumers trying to pick up a bargain. Whilst I have enormous sympathy for people who will be facing redundancy over Christmas, Woolies is still for the moment a business, and selling remaining stock is a business decision. Thus it is inapprpriate for Wollie's employees, as sympathetic to their predicament one might be, to censure consumers for eliciting discontent at what appears to be a sleight of hand over the handling of the final sale. I for one, left the store yesterday feeling foolish and hardened in my opinion about Woolies failing, having travelled to find a bargain, all I dicovered were the same smalll discounts as others have mentioned. This is totally unconnected to whatever sympathies one might have for Woolie's staff.
  • derek
    tough isnt it. why am i out of order ? there are bigger rip off merchants out there and i hope they go down too. Its about time business in this country stopped seeing the customer as an easy target and started treating them as intelligent people , im afraid woolies recent "sale" has proven that management think joe public is thick. And if you think im a "dick" well good on you , i was in their position 8 years ago except i got off my arse and found another job rather than hanging around the work place looking miserable, not doing my job, ignoring customers and lying, but then im a realist and if that means im a dick then so be it, im happy , couldnt really careless what you think , but shouldnt you be in mumbai helping out over there rather than sitting in front of a pc going on about some idiotic workers hanging on for one last payout. If you were that concerned about other peoples welfare you wouldnt be here, and if they were that concerned about their familes they would be finding another income ,sorting out what benefits theyre entitled to doing anything to make sure they were ok but theyre not are they carry on the flaming it doesnt matter , when its all said and done im right , awful but true
  • tomjoad
    As far as I'm concerned woolies pretty much ceased to exist when they deserted the city centre in favour of opening up a comparatively inaccessible big w store on the outskirts. When they were selling useful day to day items inexpensively in a convenient location i used to spend quite a bit of cash there, what they became was sadly, perhaps, irrelevant
  • well w.
    Derek 8 years ago times were different to now. We had so many jobs available it was easier to leave a job and find another so getting off your arse wasn't that hard. There were so many jobs we started importing labour. it hasn't been that way for about a year now so it not as easy as you might seem to think it is to get a new job. I don't think woolies we're try to rip anyone off but got their strategy wrong for possibly loads of different reasons. As for all the comments about the staff out of the 4 negative things you said about the staff none are true in our local, the only thing i can say is they could have been trained better, but that's not their fault. most of the staff are teenagers and would have most possibly moved on later next year to better jobs but were left in this situation (like a lot of people wanting to move) because of the credit crunch.
  • derek
    excuses excuses excuses , and life was so much better in the 80's 70's 60's etc carry on, if you dont think woolies try to rip peopl eoff please go in there and help our failing economy by buying their overpriced tat . There are many reasons why the eceonomy is in the way its is , one of them is funding a war , another is the fact that money is leaving this country in its millions because people will buy the exact same item from overseas for a lot less than what some store are willing to sell for , that im afraid is just tough luck. You must have the best woolies in the uk , trust me if things were as rosey and peachy as you try to think they are , people wouldnt have the opinion about them they do . Thatll do for me today , im off to work , to help keep whats left of the economy going by getting businesses overseas to buy our products.
  • well w.
    That'll do for me today , im off to work , to help keep what's left of the economy going by getting businesses overseas to buy our products....quote Well your not a total dick then. Cheers and good luck to you.
  • Rubisco
    quote> im afraid woolies recent “sale” has proven that management think joe public is thick. derek, if anything what the sale has proven is that joe public IS thick. Rushing in to buy stuff that's cheaper elsewhere just because the news said "SALE!" I haven't worked out whether your average moron makes life easier or harder for us bargain hunters - on the one hand they drive prices up by being willing to pay more, or the other they create bargains by allowing businesses to make more markup on some items and less on others. I read 5 newspaper articles on the Woolworths sale today, and only one even briefly mentioned the fact that the sale wasn't 50% off everything. There must be a conscious effort to shield the public from the truth.

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