Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Woolworths stores will close by Jan 4th

Woolworths, the beleaguered British High Street store which went into administration in late November, will close all its stores by 4th January. In total 807 shops are affected and more than 30,000 staff are likely to lose their jobs. The closures will be phased in with two hundreds outlets shutting their doors on the 27th and 30th of December with the remaining stores closing on the 2nd and 4th of January 2009.

The hopes of finding a buyer for the troubled chain store have all but faded. Many staff have expressed sadness at the demise at the 99 year old store. But most will be more concerned about finding new jobs. The future for the thousands of staff is extremely bleak as they look forward to joining the list of unemployed. At least 1.86 million are now without jobs, according to official figures; the highest level since 1997. Unemployment has risen by 137,000 on the previous month and the number is likely to increase significantly over the coming months. Even Tony McNulty, the Employment Minister, says he didn’t believe unemployment had reached the bottom in a short statement to the BBC. But Gordon Brown who was on a whirlwind tour of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Iraq, was far more upbeat. Speaking from Basra in southern Iraq, he told reporters efforts would continue to find people new jobs. “We must do everything we can to get people back to work” he said [BBCSky News].

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