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Bidders in pick'n'mix' offer for selected Woolworth branches

PUBLISHED: 13:54 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:54 05 October 2010

BUYERS have made offers for a pick'n'mix' selection of 300 High Street branches out of the 800 Woolworth outlets up and down the country, administrators have revealed. Meanwhile the stores are closing in batches of 200 over the holiday with the last shutting up shop by January 5

By Else Kvist

BUYERS have made offers for a pick’n’mix’ selection of 300 High Street branches out of the 800 Woolworth outlets up and down the country, administrators have revealed.

Meanwhile the stores are closing in batches of 200 over the holiday with the last shutting up shop by January 5 as Woolies heads into liquidation in the New Year.

Two branches in London’s East End are among the last to be closed, at Bethnal Green and Bow.

But a third East London Woolie’s at Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market turns the lights out on Saturday, a week ahead of the other two.

Bethnal Green & Bow MP George Galloway has been fighting a rearguard action to press the Government to take over the ailing group without success.

Respect Opposition councillors at Tower Hamlets tabled an emergency motion on Woolworth’s last week, echoing Galloway’s call for the local authority to press the Government to step in to save the people’s store.’ But the majority ruling Labour group rejected the idea.

Added to the misery for the 22,000 permanent and 5,000 temporary and seasonal staff around the country is that no buyer has come forward at the eleventh hour.

But offers have been put in for 300 branches, the administrators Deloitte’s revealed this week, with interest in the other 500.

Woolworth’s, famous for its pick’n’mix sweets and cheap and cheerful’ household goods, first set up shop in Britain in 1909, under its American parent company.

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