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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.

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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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