Page last updated at 23:49 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 00:49 UK

WeeW aims to fill Woolies' void

Woolworths store
The chain shut its stores after going into administration

Former Woolworths employees in the Western Isles are helping to open a new store in Stornoway called WeeW.

Ex-workers of the town's "Woolies" - one of 815 closed after the chain went into administration with debts of £385m - are among its staff and investors.

The new store's name is a play on the title of Woolworths' major outlets - Big W.

Opened on Cromwell Street, WeeW is on the same street as its predecessor and aims fill a "void" left by its closure.

The store will be managed by Terry Ovenstone, 27, a former Woolworths worker who was poised to leave the islands with his family.

The heart was ripped out of Stornoway when Woolworths closed its doors
Ann MacCallum, Former Woolworths manager

He said: "I'm delighted that some of my former Woolies colleagues will be joining what will be a workforce of 28 staff.

"I am very fortunate, my family and I were about to leave for Aberdeen when I was offered the chance to stay in Lewis and manage the new WeeW store."

One of the investors in the business, Ann MacCallum, previously managed the Stornoway Woolworths for more than six years.

She said: "Terry is the perfect person to lead and develop WeeW.

"The heart was ripped out of Stornoway when Woolworths closed its doors. WeeW will help put life back into the town centre and bring back the fun to shopping in Stornoway."

The new business has been welcomed by the local authority, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Similar ventures set up to replace Woolworths, or reopen former stores, have appeared across the UK.

A store in Dorset reopened under the name Wellworths.



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