Woolies in Administration
Woolworths came to Rye in 1936, the year of the Berlin (Hitler’s) Olympics. Since then, through good times and bad, Woolies employed and served local people. Rye High Street without Woolworths will seem very odd but, failing a miracle, that will be the case early in the New Year.
Staff will be kept on and paid as long as possible by the administrators but the Rye branch, along with over 800 others throughout the United Kingdom will almost certainly be closed unless a buyer, prepared to take on a £900,000,000 debt can be found.
F. W. Woolworth started the business 99 years ago and for 72 of those years the Rye branch has been a part of the story. One lady told me that the demise of the Rye store will be similar to losing an old friend. Those that lived here in their youth will remember spending their pocket money in the colourful store, usually on sweets but at this time of year on presents. Make the most of the next few weeks, it may be the last Christmas to wander around and choose from the same shelves as so many Ryers have done in all those years gone by.
‘The Wonder of Woolworths’ The advertising jingle that we all remember. Soon even the name of the famous chain store ‘Woolworths’ may fade away.
“Rye’s Own”December 2008
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