Woolworths STILL set for potential return to Brit High St, says former boss

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The iconic retailer, famed for its pick ’n’ mix sweets, was tipped to return in 2017 nearly a decade after its collapse.

We revealed how the brand’s former director was planning to resurrect the store – also famed for its school clothes and Christmas adverts.

Retail boss Tony Page even revealed his blueprint and told us he would bring Woolies back in a “similar format”.

He said he would open stores more at the “heart of communities” rather than major shopping centres.

“I am still emotionally attached to it,” he previously said. “I still think it has got a role in the future.”

Woolworths store

COMING BACK? Woolies could be set to make a shock return to our High Street (Pic: GETTY)

Page then made an approach to Shop Direct – the current owner of Woolies – to buy the name back in order to push forward with his plans.

Shop Direct, which owns Littlewoods and Very, had taken over Woolworths after it collapsed into administration in 2008.

The brand had racked up nearly £400 million of debt when it folded, resulting in more than 800 stores closing down.

Tony tried to buy the brand after its collapse – selling his family home in the process – but his £10million bid was trumped by Shop Direct.

Yet six years later, Shop Direct dissolved the famous Woolworths name by merging it with its Very brand.

Woolworths store

BIG PLANS: The former chief of Woolworths wants to revive the iconic chain (Pic: GETTY)

Woolworths store

HUGE NAME: Woolworths was a staple of the Brit High Street at its peak (Pic: GETTY)

And when Tony approached the company in 2017 with his big plan for Woolworths 2.0, he and thousands of Woolies fans were served a shock blow.

The company apparently failed to respond to Tony’s approach, and when approached by Daily Star Online in January of this year, they declined to comment.

Since then dreams of a Woolworths return have faded.

But former ASDA director Tony, who still works in retail management, has now revealed he still hopes to bring the brand back – but only if Shop Direct budges on its silent stance.

Woolworths store

IN THEIR HANDS: The ex chief can only bring Woolies back if its current owners give it up (Pic: GETTY)

“I may have another go at pursuing (plans to bring Woolworths back)”

Former Woolworths director, Tony Page

He told Daily Star Online: “No plans right now (to make another approach), but if the brand was available – maybe!”

Tony then added: “If I get some spare time to focus on it I may have another go at pursuing.”

The former director had previously admitted to us that he still carries the pain of Woolworths’ collapse – which resulted in 27,000 job losses.

Revealing he had a clear idea on why it didn’t survive, he said: “It was a huge disappointment when Woolies closed. People had worked there for decades, and for them they had lost their careers, jobs and their livelihoods.

Woolworths store

VANISHED: Shop Direct merged Woolies with its Very brand several years ago (Pic: GETTY)

“It was traumatic, without a shadow of a doubt, and it would take half a day to explain why we couldn’t survive.

“Fundamentally I think there were just some things that didn’t work, such as larger shops in the wrong place.

“I strongly believe the core of Woolworths, however, was – and still could be – a strong and prosperous business.

“Although, my wife would say I am mad and say ‘why don’t you just let it go?’. (But) I will keep trying.”

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