Wednesday, February 22, 2017
What Happened to The Woolworth Stores??
The F.W. Woolworth company was one that was a strong brand name when I was a child but disappeared in my teens. Celebrating the 100th birthday in 1979 the Woolworth Company looked very strong and confident about the future. There of course had been a few issues but nothing that was thought to be serious. A Canadian Corporation had tried to take the company over but the thought of good times ahead for the giant company stopped the hostile takeover. But just a few years later the company would be sold off cheaply The next 18 years would see the 5 & 10 vanish from the USA and Canada.
What was it that made this giant of a company that had appeared so strong vanish?? It would be their past history of expansion during the previous decades that would be the cause of their downfall. Woolworth had spent lots of money investing in what was thought to be the next line a new chain called Woolco out of town. The debt from the spending, manufacturing and new styles would assume the enterprise. Woolco would become profitable over time but would never hit its target.
The 1980s would see Woolworth would fight back and to stay alive but the Woolco stores in the USA would be closed while the Canadian stores would survive. The retailer known as Wal-Mart was growing at a rapid pace and would take over where many Woolco stores were moving out of. In the mid 1990s Wal-Mart would take over many of the Canadian Woolco stores as well.