The Woolworths name could be put up for sale after its current owner, online retailer ShopDirect, has announced over the weekend the imminent closure of its website. The group’s chief executive advanced the investment would be directed towards a more successful website.
As revealed by Shop Direct’s chief executive Alex Baldock in an interview with ‘The Mail on Sunday’, although the decision marked a “sad day”, the company he heads has decided to channel investment into its more successful website Very.co.uk.
“It’s certainly the end of the line for the Woolworths brand as far as we’re concerned. ‘Woolworths has been growing steadily, but we’ve been looking at ways to simplify our business,” Baldock summed up.
Shop Direct’s chief executive indicated that the brand could be sold once the transition of Woolworths shoppers to Very was complete. “Never say never,” he added.
Shop Direct acquired the Woolworths and Ladybird names in early 2009 to launch Very soon after. It has turned into a 800 million pounds turnover business.
Looking ahead, Shop Direct has planned Very to also absorb responsibility for the Ladybird brand, which has increased sales threefold since it was acquired.
It is understood Shop Direct will complete the transfer Woolworths customers over to Very before a decision is taken on a sale of the name, reported ‘This is Money’.