London - About 200 stores of Woolworths, one of Britain's best known retailers, have shut their doors for good.
Store-closing signs are seen in the window of the Woolworths store in Altrincham, northern England, December 27, 2008. Administrators began closing the stores of Woolworths, one of Britain's best known retailers, on Saturday. [Agencies]
The stores that closed Saturday represent about a quarter of the company's shops. The rest of the stores are to close within about a week unless a last-minute buyer is found for the failed retailer. It filed for a form of bankruptcy protection last month.
About 27,000 people are expected to lose their jobs.
The company's current debt-laden predicament is a far cry from the clamor that greeted the first British store, which opened in Liverpool, northern England, in 1909 under the FW Woolworths brand, a subsidiary of the US company.
The British retail company has outlasted its original US parent, which closed its final Woolworths stores in 1997.