Rediscovering the Woolworths Virtual Museum

Back when I was a student (and for a little while after I graduated), I worked for Woolworths. I was there from 2006 right until the shutters came down for the last time on 6 January 2009.

It's now staying shut

Working at Woolworths during the closing down sale was one of the most extraordinary periods of my life. I was losing my job, but moreover we were all losing a shop that most of us had an affection for since our childhoods.

It was a crazy time. It brought out all sides of human nature — good, bad and funny. For more on that, see my series of posts about Woolworths, which I wrote three years ago, directly after the shop’s closure.

When it was still in business, there was a brilliant website called the Woolworths Virtual Museum. I remember using it to research the company before my job interview. And during those crisis weeks at the end of 2008, I looked again to help put the events into context.

Sadly, when the Woolworths went out of business, the websites went down — including the Virtual Museum.

I was delighted to discover that the Woolworths Virtual Museum lives on. It is run by the same person, but now independently so. It is updated with honest accounts of where the company went wrong. It now serves as a fully comprehensive history of one of Britain’s best-loved businesses.

It is not the best designed of websites. I must warn that there is a lot of autoplaying audio throughout the website.

But it is clearly a real labour of love, and is a true treasure trove of information about the history of Woolworths. You could literally spend days reading it, and I have a feeling I will.

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