Page last updated at 06:45 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

Woolworths closure delayed by day

Woolworths store
Woolworths has had a presence on the UK High Street for 100 years

The final closure of Woolworths stores is to be delayed by one day, the firm's administrator has said.

Deloitte says 200 outlets that had been due to shut on Friday will now also remain open on Saturday, because there is still some stock to sell.

The remaining 200 stores will now close on 6 January, also a day later than originally planned.

Deloitte said another reason for the delay was the need for more time to make the "final arrangements".

"There are two main reasons for delaying the closures," said a Deloitte spokesman.

"One, stock levels - there's still some stock remaining. Two, workload - it's a big logistical exercise."

Century-old business

More than half of Woolworths' 807 stores have already closed for the last time.

Woolworths went into administration in November with debts of 385m.

Deloitte tried but failed to sell the business as a going concern.

It is now continuing negotiations to sell off individual stores.

The chain is the most high-profile UK High Street casualty of the economic downturn so far.

Woolworths opened its first UK store in Liverpool in 1909.

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