The Times has reported that the home shopping retailer, owned by Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay, bought the name from the administrators and resurrected it online earlier this year.
The firm now wants to hear from possible franchisees, but is not considering managing the stores itself.
Mark Newton-Jones, the chief executive, said: “In the new year, we will consider approaches from interested third parties. We believe it could be a successful chain of up to 200 stores, supported by the buying power of the Shop Direct Group.”
Shop Direct earlier rejected an offer from Tony Page, a former commercial director of Woolworths, to licence the name. He wanted to reintroduce the chain to the market towns where it had always remained profitable.
Page said yesterday: “It’s something I would like to consider. There’s a role for Woolworths on the high street.”
So far, 75 per cent of the 807 former Woolworths stores have been let, according to CB Richard Ellis, the property company.