With the closure of all the Woolworths stores in early 2009 the distribution depots in Rochdale and Swindon also closed down after all the remaining stock in the warehouse had been delivered.
The depot in Rochdale above which was also the head office was quite a large one overlapping two grid squares and used to employ over 600 staff of which 126 were drivers Link
SD8811 : Woolworths End of an Era
SD8810 : Woolworths Distribution Depot Rochdale
The picture above shows the depot trailer park which was turned into storage for all the old roll cages that were once used for the store deliveries.
Woolworths stores started their phased shutdown in December 2008 after no last-minute buyer could be found for the beleaguered group which had traded in the UK for 99 years.
The business was finally wound down officially on January 5th 2009.
SU1984 : Woolworth's Swindon Distribution Centre, Faraday Road, Swindon
also closed down in January 2009
Woolworths's position in late 2008 contrasted sharply with the success of its first British shop, which opened in 1909 were everything was priced at sixpence (2.5p) as the store took advantage of mass production to keep prices cheap.
The very first store in Liverpool was called FW Woolworths, a subsidiary of the US parent which was started in 1879 when Frank Woolworth, a sales assistant, opened a shop in Pennsylvania
By the mid-1920s Woolworths was inundated with letters from local authorities, asking them to open in their town and at one point a new store was opening every 17 days across Great Britain.
Following the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the company decided to float the British arm of Woolworths on the London Stock Exchange.
The flotation, in 1931, was so successful that a 15 per cent stake in the company enabled Woolworths to pay an exceptional dividend to all its shareholders of 90 cents for every dollar invested.
For the following 60 years the company would claim to have put itself at the heart of the high street, pioneering "great value on a range that is always changing".
The 1960s proved to be halcyon days for Woolworths, which could boast more than 1,000 stores across the UK.
A 1963 Daily Express share-tipping booklet described the company as "truly a giant" in shopping; it was at the time the most prominent retailer on the UK stock market. But the financial turbulence of the Seventies put the brakes on its growth, which was checked by a programme of rationalisation.
Since then, Woolworths' course has largely been one of managed decline as the British consumers' love affair with its stores – best known for their pick and mix sweet counter – gradually came to an end in late 2008.