The group will relaunch Woolworths as an online store this summer. The product range is yet to be revealed—Shop Direct is asking the public what products it would like to see offered. The deal will not save the Woolworths stores, nor the 25,000 plus jobs lost as a result of store closures.
The Woolworths and Ladybird brands will now sit alongside Shop Direct's Littlewoods, Empire, Great Universal, Kays and Marshall Ward businesses.
"Woolworths is a much-loved brand that engenders huge affection among British consumers and is an important part of the country's retail heritage," says Mark Newton-Jones, chief executive officer. "In what will be Woolworths' 100th year, we are proud to be reviving the brand for future generations. We are confident that Woolworths, as an online brand, will once again prosper and, quite
Shop Direct Group has sales of some £1.6 billion ($2.3 billion), with 5-million active customers. It employs around 10,500 people.
"We are pleased to have achieved a deal that will enable the Woolworths and Ladybird childrenswear brand names to continue," says Neville Kahn, Deloitte partner and joint administrator. "It is clear that the British public has a great affection for Woolworths and we are delighted that the Shop Direct Group will be keeping the name alive."
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