A Love Letter to: Woolies

Earlier this week, there was an incredibly cruel Twitter hoax, in which an unauthorised Twitter account claiming to be former legendary high street giant, Woolworths, claimed that the shop was going to have an iconic comeback.

The tweet hit the presses, and caused a LOAD of excitement. Woolies is perhaps the single thing Britain needed to redeem 2020.

Ask the youngest person in your office to recall their memories of Woolies, I dare you. The likelihood that they remember it: the shop was a fatality of the credit crunch and closed at the end of December 2008 (Alexandra Burke’s winning X factor cover, Hallelujah, barely had its due moment on the prestigious shelves). But for us born in the previous millennium, Woolies was legendary.

You could get just about anything in Woolies. Start of September: Mum would drag you down to grab some new stationary and a lunch bag, while you tried to convince her that gel pens are, indeed, necessary for year four. The run up to Christmas was class: head to the basement to find every toy that had ever been advertised down there, and be inspired to write a list for Father Christmas. From Tamagotchis to Pokemon, Woolies had everything.

Upstairs was a slightly more grown up affair. Existing before Netflix and Spotify, Woolies was where you got all the hot new films and hits. CDs and DVDs feel like an obsolete technology now, but we were buying cassettes and video tapes. Still trying to find something that beats the adrenaline rush of finding Aqua’s Barbie Girl in the bargain bin, tbh.

The highlight for most people, however, was the Pick ‘n’ Mix. Hardly a pandemic friendly means of getting your sugar fix, it is utterly baffling that the Pick ‘n’ Mix was never the centre of its own pandemic scandal (Covid-09 would have definitely originated from a rogue chocolate mouse that had been touched by a significant portion of Douglas’ children). For most of us, the pick ‘n’ mix was our first and only venture into shoplifting: with some scallys moving to the harder stuff, like rimmel makeup (we see you). 

With streaming, a pandemic, and online shopping all being very present in our modern lives, it does make us wonder whether Woolies is better left in the past, living on solely in our hearts. Either way, we miss you hun x