Half of Britons wish they could bring back Woolworths

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
August 17, 2022, 10:00 AM GMT+0

Even a third of the youngest adults – who will have been four to ten when Woolies closed – want to see it return

A new YouGov survey finds that Woolworths is the store chain that Britons are most nostalgic for. Asked an open question on which shop chains that no longer exist they would most like to see return, half of Britons (49%) wrote in Woolies.

Woolies is the most requested resurrection across the generations, with those aged 50-64 the most likely to want to see it back, at 60%. Even a third of 18-24 year olds – who will have been between four and ten years old when the chain closed in 2009 – want to see the store open its doors once again.

In a distant second is Debenhams, which shuttered its shops just last year. One in eight Britons (13%) would like to see a return for the barely-departed department store chain.

Rival chain BHS, which closed its stores in 2016, is also a top candidate for resurrection, with 10% wanting to see its return. Clothing retailer C&A – which exited the UK market in 2011 but still operates internationally – comes in fourth, at 7%.

No other defunct brands manage to pick up more than a couple of percentage points. Such stragglers include Toys R Us, Blockbuster, Comet, Littlewoods and Maplin.

Some Britons (1%) even seek a return for department store chain House of Fraser, which is distinctly alive, with 33 branches still operating in the UK, as well as five further stores converted to the ‘Frasers’ format.

Only one in four Britons (23%) don’t have any high street chains they’d like to bring back from the dead.

See the full results here

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