Well, I hate to say I told you so, but the Woolworth brand has been snapped up by Shop Direct (see the Telegraph article). It was just too good to be left on the shelf. It is interesting that even though the commercial brand had lost its way and we could say the brand values became fuzzy and confused, there was another dimension… an emotional attachment that many felt. The fund of goodwill the brand carried surely has a substantial value and it has gone to just the place where such warmth and affection is at a premium… on-line.
I shall watch with interest to see what happens to the Wedgwood and Waterford brands, by comparison. It was apparent that despite their far longer histories, these had not the same storehouse of affection that down-market Woolworth enjoyed. Perhaps this is because they were seen more as ‘toffs’ brands whereas our high street retailer was regarded as a brand of the people. Perhaps it is just easier for a retail brand to touch the lives of people directly.