‘Come to join us for the last waltz?’*

As Statto has said, the mass closing of Woolworths is something that really doesn’t come across in words, so if you still have the rapdily-dwindling chance wherever you are (Newport and Aber, I know, are now out of the running, since my watch says 17:38 [in analogue, obviously]), go have a look.

I’ve been to two branches of Woolies today; Telford and Newport, and the experience had two very different effects on me.

In Telford, I was mostly going “meh,” at both the produce and the experience in general. But I never spent much time at Woolies in Telford (I would be surprised, in fact, if even today’s mooch about brought the time I’ve ever spent there to more than forty minutes). Woolies in Newport, on the other hand, is used to be right opposite the bus station, so in the days when I was catching that Godforsaken No. 83 back to Hadley on a daily basis it was a good place to go and shelter against the wind.

In point of fact, it was just such an excursion that prompted me to buy the first ever Little Red Book, because it felt wrong to mooch about for half an hour and come away without buying anything…

I wandred into Newport branch at about 17:00, half an hour before they were due to finally close to the public. There was pretty much nothing left by then, and most of the shelves were empty, but the whole place was crammed regardless.

Disjointed impressions:

    • People literally scooping things off the shelves into bags
  • Two middle-aged women having a tug-of-war with the last standard-size A4 binder in the shop
  • An old lady getting shoved to one side by an old man trying to grab at four remaining 100 w lightbulbs
  • Shop assistant giving me a carrier bag and saying ‘Anything you can fit into this, it’s £3 a bag’
  • A grey-haired but youngish looking woman getting tearful as ‘Take on Me’ came onto the radio
  • Girl manning the till to passing manager-type: ‘You’ve seen “Shaun of the Dead,” yeah…?’
  • Man to woman who didn’t know him, as they both wrenched 5-packs of blue ballpoint pens from the shelves: ‘It does make you feel a bit bad, doesn’t it?’
  • Woman hustling children towards exit: ‘I don’t care what else you want! We’re leaving now!
  • Managers smiling at everybody. I have absolutely no idea how they can do that; I rarely bothered to smile at anyone in T— Stores, unless they’d previously been nice to me.
  • Girl at till telling me it’s been really creepy all day, but trying to smile anyway.
  • Man grabbing piles of 40-pack ‘Worth It’ value file dividers, and then dropping all of them because there were some on offer two shelves along.
  • …It actually left me feeling kinda mournful. Probably some passing psychologist could give me a reason for this, but I’d advice ’em to shove off rather than trying.

    I have a roll of Woolies Clearance Sale stickers. This pleases me, and probably nobody else.

    That’s it, I guess. Lame.

    * This one is so obvious you get no points at all. Anyway, it’d just be ghoulish.

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    1. On December 27, 2008 Jimmy says:

      I went into the one in Warrington today but it’d already been picked clean. It was pretty wierd- I worked there when I was in college, and used to get toldd off if there was a space on the shelf after restocking- and there it was, half the shop empty. I feel sorry for the manager, he was a nice guy.

    2. On January 01, 2009 Ele says:

      The day before Christmas eve, about 4pm, two administrators walked into the shop I worked at (The Officers Club) and shut us down. Fortunately I start my new job next week so I was only a week away from leaving but all my friends are now redundant. Two days before Christmas as well, not very nice. At least Woolies got some warning. Our bastard HO told us everything was fine and not to worry… grrr!