Woolworths set to relaunch as Alworths
LONDON - A plan by former Woolworths directors to relaunch the store under a new name has come to fruition with three stores branded 'Alworths' set to open, according to a report.
The Independent claims the plan is to launch 50 stores, which will be Woolworths in all but name.
The relaunch was the brainchild of former Woolworths commercial director Tony Page, former UBS banker Gareth Thomas and former Woolworths store development manager Andy Latham.
However Page will not be involved in the new launch and is threatening legal action against Latham, who reportedly used family connections to secure funding from the Middle-East to launch the store on his own.
Speaking to the Independent, Page said: "Alworths has been my vision and my passion since early this year but the timing is no longer right for us to reach critical mass with the speed we would have hoped. We are now looking at other retail opportunities."
The Alworths stores are set to open in Didcot in Oxfordshire, Faversham in Kent and Wokingham in Berkshire. The brand name was picked out after a competition to come up with a title for the new stores. Among the suggestions was 'Worthit', 'The Peoples' Store' and 'Britworths'.
Alworths is not the first reincarnation of the famous high street brand. Shortly after the chain collapsed at the end of 2008 the store manager of its Dorchester outlet bought the store.
The Dorchester store was relaunched as Wellworths before Shop Direct bought the Woolworths brand and logo in June.
None of the stores will be able to sell Woolworths' former own-brand products. Woolworths' highly regarded Chad Valley toy range was bought by Argos while Shop Direct owns the Ladybird childrenswear brand.
Since Woolworths' demise around 60% of its stores have been filled by value retailers such as Poundland and the 99p Store.
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