Deathwatch: Alworths calls in the administrators

retaildeathwatch They called it the ‘Son Of Woolworths’ but sadly, it was a wheezing runt of a child and it’s already more or less dead. We speak of course of Alworths, launched by a former Woolworths executive in 2009 but now in administration.

Alworths had 17 stores around the country, many of which were in former Woolies stores and aped the Woolworths style by flogging a mixed bag of wares, including toys, gardening equipment and pick ‘n’ mix sweets. But, just like its more illustrious near-namesake, it’s all gone completely tits up.

The stores are remaining open while the administrator tries to find a buyer, and the 235 people employed by Alworths will be hoping that there’ll be a happy ending. Doesn’t seem likely though – unless someone out there is daft enough to take it on and launch the ‘Grandson Of Woolworths’


  • Alexis
    Ouch. You'd have to make £391,000 a month just to cover wages. That's a lot of Pick N' Mix.
  • Dee D.
    Never heard of them, so I won't miss them. Why did they bother again? They tried to sell (overpriced) CDs and DVDs and lost out to online retailers and other high street stores; they tried mobiles and lost; they tried branded electrical stuff and lost; they were beaten off the high street by poundshops for their cheaper items.
  • Dick
    > £391,000 That’s a lot of Pick N’ Mix. Only about 25kg. There prices were fucking crazy.
  • Jerec
    Thats why when I see stores like HMV and Woolworths collapsing I can't say I feel sorry for them.
  • shinkyshonky
    check the below see the date Reports suggest that founder has resigned as director, as restructuring looms. Retail Week has reported that Alworths is being restructured less than 18 months after its first store opened. The retailer was founded in 2009 by former Woolworths head of store and concession development, Andy Latham, who has reportedly stepped down as director of the company. The story suggests that the retailer is now being restructured and a change of ownership is underway. Industry sources have told Retail Week that they fear a pre-pack administration is on the cards. Documents filed at Companies House last week showed that Latham has resigned as a director and Alworths’ registered office address has been changed to 'care of' a solicitors in Redhill, where the retailer is headquartered. Article continues below At the same time a new company, Retail Acquisitions, was set up and is reportedly expected to take control of Alworths. Latham is one of its directors as is Chris Althorp-Gormlay, a boss of private equity business SKG Capital. No comment was available from Latham or Althorp-Gormlay. Alworths said in an email: “We can confirm Andy is still managing the business. We are currently restructuring elements of the company.” Latham originally envisaged 50 shops, later seeing potential for 200, concentrating on small market towns where Woolworths previously thrived. By sticking to these areas, he was confident Alworths would not fail in the same way as Woolworths did.

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