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Last Updated: Thursday November 27 2008 15:54 GMT

Woolworths shops face closure

Ore looks into the reasons why the shop chain could be closing down.

One of the most famous shops in the UK, Woolworths, could go out of business because it has run out of money.

That doesn't mean all the shops will be closed straight away. But the company's bosses have said the shops aren't able to make enough money to stay open.

Woolworths sells loads of stuff for young people, like music, games, toys, clothes and sweets.

The news is terrible for the people who work for Woolworths, as around 30,000 people having jobs with the company.

Now business experts have been put in charge, and they will try to sell the things of value that Woolworths owns.

At the moment Woolworths owes banks and other businesses almost 400m. That means they don't have enough cash to buy things to sell on to customers in their shops.

A Woolworths shop
Normally banks might let them borrow money to pay back after they've sold some things, but because there are money problems all around the world, banks don't want to do that.

The business experts in charge of Woolworths are called administrators. Their job is try to make as much money as possible by selling Woolworths.

Ideally they'd like to sell it all in one go, but they may have to sell it in small chunks instead.


If they can make enough cash from those sales, Woolworths shops could stay open, but with new owners. Although it may have to be a smaller company with fewer stores and staff.

Although the Woolworths shops you see on High Streets are the most obvious parts of the company, there are other bits of the company too.

Some of those are making money, so could be sold onto other companies.


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