Saturday, 3 January 2009


My thanks to these 4 ladies at Woolworths in Northdown Road for posing for this picture yesterday. Between them they have 28 years of service to Woolworths and this was their last day of employment. They were unclear about payment of wages and redundancy payment. It brought it home to me that when big business and banks get greedy and throw caution and integrity out of the window, it's the least well off who suffer the most for such folly.
Altogether, 16 staff have lost their jobs at this store and in Thanet over 70 families have been hit by the closure of all 4 stores. This is just another nail in the coffin of what was once a thriving shopping road.
What I find fascinating in Northdown Road is that one or two unlikely businesses are still managing to hang on and it would seem that this is because the free-hold is owned; reserves from better times were not squandered and whilst profits are down, cost-cutting and belt-tightening is the order of the day. Is it true that the Woolworths chain sold its shops some years ago and then leased them back? Was earlier greed the cause of its present demise?


Anonymous said...

Yes, the guy who took over Woolworths a few years ago sold off the freehold so the shops were forced to pay high rents and, as most were in prime sites in towns faced extortionate rents. Short-termism of the highest order.

Another case of greed, as you say.

Woolies had suffered from unprogressive management who didn't accept that firms like Wilkinsons were doing the same job better.

Incidentally, only a few years ago all staff were not allowed pockets in their uniform overalls in case they were stealing (the pickamix?). After a hue and cry about this the uniform did get pockets. Says a great deal about the then hierarchy of this firm.

Anonymous said...

TDC should have given them a reduced Business rate to allow them to stay open, this happened in the 80's and it was proved it is better to receive some council tax than have another empty premises, but then TDC isn't that intellegent to see that side.

Anonymous said...

To be honest a lot of staff should be under suspicion of theft, I have actually reported 11 members of the public stealing from shops just in the last three months, staff are no different if they think they can get away with it they will do it, is seems to be an acceptable thing with the younger generation now.

Bertie Biggles said...

This measure would need to be done by central Government perhaps, 19.28 particularly in the derelict Northdown Rd and Margate High St. Does TDC set the rate?

Hugin said...

Bertie & Anon 19:28(4 Jan), the Valuation Office Agency are responsible for setting non-domestic (business) rates. Their website is at: