Woolies uses Twitter and blogs for online return

LONDON - Woolworths' new owners are using Twitter and a company blog to communicate with consumers after critics accused the 99-year-old brand of being out-of-touch when it went into administration.

Woolies uses Twitter and blogs for online return

The company folded in November with £385m in debts and was subsequently brought by Shop Direct Group, which owns a number of online brands, including Littlewoods, Kays and Additions Direct.   

Woolworths' well-documented demise stirred up huge amounts of retrospective affection for the brand and by the end of last year the ‘Save Woolworths' group on social networking site Facebook had more than 23,000 members.

The new owners plan to relaunch Woolworths as an online-only retailer and in response to the younger demographic that shops online has decided that social networking is the most effective way to promote the brand. It has appointed GlueLondon and The Brooklyn Brothers to drive social media engagement.

Both applications are being used to communicate with customers and receive feedback.  The blog covers topics from what pick'n'mix sweets you'd take to a desert island to making browsing online safer for kids and has already received hundreds of comments from consumers.

Last week Woolworths used Twitter to test demand for its famously diverse product offering.  It asked Twitterers to list their top five Woolworths' products, no doubt with more than a little nostalgia stirring in mind.  Apart from its Ladybird children's clothing range, it has not yet announced which products will be stocked. 

The company has adopted a light-hearted Innocent-Drinks-style tone on the website and blog.  Its blog writer Matthew Jacques, Shop Direct Group's property director, refers to himself as ‘a father-of-two who can't sit still for a nano-second' and the team is broken down into groups, such as ‘care bears' (customer support), ‘webbies' (technical) and ‘Team Cappuccino' (the creative team).

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