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Woolworths owner mulls high street return

Woolworths may return to the high street as a 200-store chain as brand owner Shop Direct considers launching a bricks and mortar franchise strategy.

Shop Direct owners Sir Fredrick Barclay and Sir David Barclay bought the Woolworths name from administrators Deloitte in February and set it up as an online store.

The home shopping group said it was interested in setting up franchise shops, not company-run stores, according to The Times newspaper.

Shop Direct, chief executive, Mark Newton-Jones said: “In the new year, we will consider approaches from interested third parties. We believe it could be a successful chain of up to 200 stores, supported by the buying power of the Shop Direct Group.”

A year ago this week Woolworths collapsed with the loss of over 30,000 jobs and the closure of 800 shops.

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