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Woolworths to close by Jan 5

THERE are fewer than a dozen shopping days to go – until Woolworths closes its doors in Macclesfield for the final time.

THERE are fewer than a dozen shopping days to go – until Woolworths closes its doors in Macclesfield for the final time.

Twenty-six workers now know their fate – to become jobless in the new year – after administrators Deloitte announced all UK stores will be axed by January 5, 2009.

Despite surviving a first stage of closures, starting on Saturday (December 27), the Mill Street store could not escape the brand’s dramatic demise.

One employee said: "The administrators have said they will help us find new jobs. It’s upsetting to lose your job, as it would be for anyone, but we will see.

"I think it is obvious what is happening, but we are still unsure what will happen next."

Deloitte say an 11th hour reprieve is still possible, but that unless a buyer is found immediately, all 815 UK Woolworths shops are doomed.

They insist staff will be retained temporarily and claim that more than 300 stores are under offer from a range of third parties, with considerable interest in the other 500.

But shopworkers’ union, Usdaw, is appalled by the news.

Representative John Gorle said: "Redundancy is devastating at any time of the year, but particularly so at Christmas.

"We are shocked that staff, will only be given ten days’ notice of store closures and deeply disappointed by the news that no buyer has yet been found for Woolworths."

Neville Kahn, from Deloitte, said negotiations for the sale of Woolworths’ retail arm was continuing.

The first 200 stores are being axed on December 27, with further phased closures on December 30, January 2, and January 5.

The closing down sale at the Mill Street store includes discounts of up to 60 per cent on all items.

 

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