Alworths opens its doors

Former Woolworths employee opens first store of the new chain in Didcot.
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The new retailer has been set up by ex head of store and concession development at Woolworths, Andy Latham, who worked at Woolworths for over 25 years.

Latham, along with a team of 15 ex Woolies staff, has created the new general retail chain in 66 days, securing personal private investment.

Four further stores will open before Christmas in Amersham (November 12th), Evesham (November 19th), Warminster (November 20th) and Wokingham (November 26th). The plan is to open another 17 stores within the next 12 months. Stores will be situated in High Street locations, predominantly in market towns.

Alworths stocks a mixture of toys, sweets, homeware, stationery, seasonal and garden products.

As well as creating new roles for ex-Woolies head office staff members, Alworths has also been responsible for creating around 35 jobs in each town. The team has tried to recruit ex Woolies staff and managers where appropriate.

In Didcot, half of the store colleagues are former Woolies employees from stores in the Oxfordshire area and the store manager, Helen Benson, was the former manager of Woolworths in Didcot.

Latham said: “This is such a great feeling to open our first store. We’ve managed to do this in just 66 days which has been an amazing achievement - it’s thanks to the great team around me who share my vision of wanting to regenerate the high street and provide a service to the local community.”

Helen Benson, store manager of alworths in Didcot added: “I am so excited to be the manager of the first ever alworths store and to be launching a new retail chain in Didcot.

"The town has really missed having a variety store that stocks everything from toys to sweets to homeware. It has also been fantastic to be a part of something that has reunited former Woolies colleagues from around the Oxfordshire area.”

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