Woolworths to be re-born as online shopping destination

LONDON - Woolworths is to be relaunched as an online retailer after being bought by Shop Direct, the internet shopping portal owned by Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay.

Shop Direct, which also owns Littlewoods and Choice, will launch Woolworths online this summer after a deal was reached for an undisclosed sum.

Before Woolworths went into administration it had invested heavily in its web offer. The store had a range of around 300,000 products online and customers had the ability to browse the site in-store.

Woolworths went into administration in November with debts of £385m, closing over 800 stores across the country after failing to find a buyer.

Over 30,000 Woolworth employees lost their jobs due to the closure, only a small number of them are expected to get them back when the company is relaunched online.

Shop Direct itself announced last week a large round of redundancies, affecting over 1,150 employees, mainly in its customer call centre in Crosby.

Details of the Woolworths online product range are expected within a number of months, however it is known that Shop Direct plans to revive Woolworths' children's clothing label Ladybird.

The Barclay brothers also own the Telegraph Media Group.

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