In 1909, in Liverpool, Frank Winfield
Woolworth opened his first Woolworths' store (fondly known as Woolies).
At the time of World War II, Woolies staff raised £5,000 for the
spitfire fund, Woolies management matched the sum, and two Spitfires
Since then, in the 1970's, Princess Margaret and the Duchess of
Kent have attended opening ceremonies in Aylesbury and Middleton
respectively. Woolies' other claims to fame are EastEnders star,
Patsy Palmer, whilst shopping helped a pregnant woman get to hospital.
Also, Michael Winner, film director and restaurant critic, owned
up to stealing stamps from Woolies when he was a child, and sent
a contribution to "Kid's First" with a letter of apology fifty years
Woolworths was one of the first companies, in 1972, allowed to
advertise on the premier boards at the Oval. In 1996, Woolies instigated
a search for the oldest Christmas tree in the UK finding one from
1925 still being used by Sidney Jones.
Woolworths currently has over 800 stores across the UK attracting
over one million customers daily. It is UK's number one retailer
for Entertainment and Confectionery products. Sales have increased
by 5.5% to £1,860.4 million in the 1999/2000 financial year.
In August of 1999 Woolworths joined "Open", the digital TV Shopping
channel and was introduced directly into 1,000 homes. This is being
developed to include diverse ranges from garden furniture to "School
Shop". In December of that same year Woolies launched their first
website offering a small range of Entertainment and Toys products.
Woolworths also has a strategic target of increasing its store space
by one million square feet by 2002/2003.