The Woolworths Museum

Kids and Celebrations

a new Woolworths - 2002-2008

Following Woolworths' demerger from Kingfisher, new CEO Trevor Bish-Jones launched a radical new strategy to transform the brand. Described as a 'Kids and Celebrations' strategy this saw a new look for the larger stores in cities and market towns, which targeted mums and young children, introducing extended ranges of toys and promoting them towards the front of the store.


Some of the range of pre-school toys in the 100th store to be converted to the new 'Toys and Celebrations' layout. The aisle shown was just a tenth of the total toys range in the store


The range of own brand Chad Valley Toys was developed and enhanced, with the Company enjoying particular success with 'Action Squad' - a range of toy soldiers - alongside an extensive range of pre-school toys extending the fun learning theme.


The huge toy department in the out of town '20/20' format Woolworths store in Norwich, pictured in 2003


The concept was extended further in the Company's new look out of town stores, with the former 'Big W' format amended and updated in Norwich and Tamworth and dedicating over a third of the total floor space to Toys and Children's clothes, highlighted by huge banners in the corners of the store. The displays included both bold displays of own-brand Chad Valley products and a range of supplier-branded toys to rival the market-leading Toys'R'Us out-of-town format.


In homage to Woolworths' 3D and 6D roots and legendary pic'n'mix range, the out-of-town store format included special fixtures of pocket money toys



In homage to Woolworths' value roots as the threepenny and sixpenny stores, and their legendary weigh-out confectionery, the out-of-town stores incorporated new fixtures crammed with pocket money toys branded as 'pic & mix'. The fixture was given pride of place in the main gangway at Norwich and Tamworth, and proved a big hit with shoppers when the stores opened in 2003.


The Woolworths In-Store Ordering System (ISO) allowed the Company to offer customers access to the full toy range of the out-of-town stores in smaller stores around the United Kingdom


The addition of an in-store ordering system (ISO) in 2005 allowed the company to make some of the larger toys sold out-of-town available to shoppers in the smaller High Street branches. Toys featured extensively in the Big Red Book  and the website presence.


Showcases featured in the toy department at Kingswood - the prototype for a new generation of small stores, pictured in 2005


A short-lived format for the small stores installed showcases above the main toy displays. These were used to display a selection of items from the extended range that was available to order. They were filled with items like bicycles which were too large and impractical to sell in-store, offering customers the option of collecting their purchases in the High Street on their next visit, or taking advantage of convenient home delivery.


WorthIt! pocket money toys from 2007

A reappraisal of the firm's strategy inspired a new budget range, called 'WorthIt!' in 2007. This covered a gap in the offer which had opened the door to discounters.

The WorthIt! toys were a hit, offering simple fun at pocket money prices. A magnetic fishing fame and brightly-coloured plastic windmills were particularly popular. Sadly the WorthIt! range came too late to save the stores, which fell into Administration in November 2008.



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Bonus Items - The History of Chad Valley

Now owned by Argos / J. Sainsbury plc, Chad Valley was revived and developed by Woolworths over a 21 year period


Toys for Toffs, the early ranges


TV changes everything in the 1950s and 1960s