Woolworths to live again online

Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay have snapped up Woolworths and will
relaunch the former high street giant as an online retailer.

The Barclay brothers have bought the chain following its administration in

The brands are being bought by Shop Direct Group, owned by the twins, for an
undisclosed sum.

More than 800 Woolworths stores closed a month ago after struggling with
debts of £385m.

Deloitte said: ‘The joint administrators to Woolworths plc have today
announced the sale of the Woolworths brand name and the Ladybird childrenswear
brand to Shop Direct Group, the UK’s largest online and home shopping retailer.

‘The Shop Direct Group plans to re-launch Woolworths as an online store
selling a range of products including the Ladybird children’s label.’

Neville Kahn, Deloitte partner and joint administrator, said: ‘We are pleased
to have achieved a deal which will enable the Woolworths and Ladybird
childrenswear brand names to continue. 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.’

Last year, administrators from Deloitte announced that all 807 Woolworths
outlets would close by 5 January after their efforts to sell the business as a
going concern proved unsuccessful.

Deloitte cited a lack of available finance for prospective bidders to restock
the shelves of the ailing store as a major stumbling block to trading it on.

Kahn added: ‘The process of selling the Woolworths property portfolio
continues with former stores under offer from prospective purchasers. We are
currently bound by confidentiality agreements regarding the numbers and
locations of stores under offer while negotiations continue.’

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