It appears to be the beginning of the end for Woolies. Its mega closing down sale begins today. It's a grim day for its staff - up to 25,000 could be out of work within a month.
What has struck me in all the news coverage this morning is the nostalgia of reporters and anchors who clearly have not been near a Woolworth store for the last decade and yet who are still mourning its passing. A number of my friends have told me how sad it is that the shop is closing but when I ask them when was the last time they entered the store, they fix me with one of those looks that says 'as if...' and then tell me they can't remember when it was.
The fact is that Woolies has long since lost its reason for being on our high streets. No one needs to shop there as the things it stocks can be found more cheaply and conveniently - and in more pleasant surroundings - at a host of other retailers.
I used my local Woolies as a short cut from the High street to the mall where my local Wesley Owen is located. Occasionally on passing through - sometimes with a colleague - we'd look for cheap CDs or DVDs and on a couple of occasions pick up a bargain.
I too think its demise is sad but since I rarely shopped there, I shan't be ringing my hands over its passing. That would be a tad hypocritical, I feel.
But let's pray for all the staff affected and look for other ways of helping them practically if we can.