Woolworths closing ""end of era"" for Sidmouth

PUBLISHED: 13:00 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:48 17 June 2010

WHEN Woolworths closed its doors for the final time on Tuesday it was the end of an era for Sidmouth s High Street.

WHEN Woolworths closed its doors for the final time on Tuesday it was the end of an era for Sidmouth's High Street.

Janet Raymont and 15 other full and part-time staff there are now out of a job following the demise of the retail giant, which came to Sidmouth in 1938.

"It is sad, I have to say it is a sign of the times," said Janet who lives in Newton Poppleford.

"I have been here over 18 years and never thought it would come to this. It shows no-one is invincible.

"It is such a shame, it will be a big loss to the town. When people come here on holiday the first place they come to is Woolworths.

"I reckon Sidmouth will slowly die a death."

Janet joined the store working on the seasonal rock counter and progressed to confectionery before moving to the CD, DVD and computer games counter two years ago.

"We have had a great deal of support from our regular customers and some are quite upset, the kids as well," she said.

"I feel sorry for those kids that come in with their pocket money."

Janet wants to take time off to come to terms with her redundancy before job hunting.

Her feelings were echoed by shoppers at the store on Monday.

Jean Angus, 67, of Manstone Avenue said: "It is sad because there has always been a Woolworths. Where else will I buy stick-on soles for my shoes and reels of cotton? It is the end of an era."

Bill Mills, cleaning supervisor for Sidmouth College, said: "I am disappointed it is closing. I think it has changed over the years not necessarily in a good way. I think they tried to change with the times but have been less adaptable than big stores."

Rona Griffiths and Nan Thomas, visiting from South Wales, displayed their bargains from the children's clothes section.

Nan said: "I think it is a pity it is closing and so many people are losing their jobs."

Rona added: "I like Woolworths but it has changed, you used to get everything there."

David and Virginia Clarkson from London, visiting relatives, bought baby clothes for son George, 11 months.

Mr Clarkson said: "We don't shop there very often ourselves but went in for sentimental reasons for the last time."

He said the store was looking "more and more dilapidated" and hoped something "more appealing" would replace it.

Stephen Hunt from Primley Road, Sidmouth, will certainly miss the shop. The children's entertainer, known as Professor Fumble, buys many children's prizes for the parties he attends.

"It is a useful shop to have and will be sorely missed. It is very sad Woolworths is closing down, especially after nearly reaching its centenary."

He said there was nowhere else in the town to buy music CDs, DVDs or computer games.

Margaret Hunt and husband Derek, were seeking out last minute bargains in the stationery line that might be useful for Ottery St Mary Bowls Club.

"It will make a big hole in the High Street, it is the end of an era," said Margaret.

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