After opening its first store in Liverpool in 1909, Woolworths' system of individual counters for various goods proved popular and the store was well-established by the end of World War I.
Early stores operated on a "threepence or sixpence" concept, with all items sold for one of the two prices
The chain's format proved a hit with shoppers, and it quickly became known as 'Woolies'. The nickname was to stick throughout its existence.
Toys were a staple of Woolworths' business as its popularity soared. In the 1950s, shoppers flocked to its January sales.
In the years immediately after the Second World War, some stores - like here in Plymouth - remained boarded up. But post-war austerity did not stop the sale of another Woolies favourite - Easter eggs.
By the 1960s, Woolworths was a formidable high street presence. Its status secured it a place in the modern shopping centres of new towns like Kirkby, in the north-west.
Decimalisation may have changed the prices in 1971 but, as chairman of the Decimal Currency Board Lord Fiske found out, it did not affect Woolies' range of stock
After the 1980s, while sales of many goods dropped in the face of growing competition, pic 'n' mix remained a favourite with customers.
The economic downturn of 2008 brought about Woolworths' downfall. It entered administration and immediately launched huge discounts which resulted in the chain's biggest ever trading day.
Despite the sales, the administrators have so far been unable to find a buyer and the shutters were brought down for the final time on the first tranche of stores on Saturday.
Shoppers remained sentimental about the Woolies brand. But their messages of goodwill were not sufficiently matched by spending to keep the stores open.
Woolworths staff have been praised for their professionalism in the face of redundancy. For many, it is the emotional end of a long association with the store.