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Woolworths slashes prices

By | Published on Friday 5 December 2008


Elsewhere in companies going under news, Woolies is to hold its biggest sale in history as administrators Deloitte try to turn as much existing stock into cash as possible.

All entertainment products, including CDs, will be discounted, though it’s thought the biggest discounts will be on toys and greetings cards where there’ll be up to 50% off, which is good news for parents looking to fill their kid’s Christmas stockings. Unless they’re the sort of prepared parents who did all their Christmas shopping in June.

As previously reported, when Woolworths and sister distribution company eUK went into administration last week concerns were expressed across the entertainment retail sector, including by those retailers not supplied by eUK, because of fears this kind of price-slashing sale would follow. It’s not clear just how big the discounts on CDs and DVDs will be, but it could put the pressure on other high street entertainment sellers like HMV and Zavvi who may now not be able to compete on price on the big mainstream sellers stocked by Woolies, hitting them hard during the crucial Christmas period.

Some are even speculating that the Woolies/eUK debacle could take Zavvi down. A combination of delays in getting key stock into store (eUK was its supplier), the temporary suspension of their website (because it utilised eUK’s services) and a high profile price cutting pre-Christmas sale across the street in Woolies could, some say, take the former Virgin Megastore to the brink, and maybe over it. Though it should be said some of those more pessimistic commentators had predicted Zavvi would fail from the minute it separated from the Virgin Group, and actually the retailer has so far done quite well in its first year as an independent entity. Still, I think it’s fair to say these are challenging times for Zavvi.