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Strategy for the 1980s


Geoffrey Rodgers, Chairman of the British Woolworth at the time of the management buy-in by Paternoster Stores Ltd (later known as Kingfisher)


This page shows the new Woolworth Chairman Geoffrey Rodgers' strategy to modernise the business in the 1980s. It is reprinted from advertisements placed in Britain's leading broadsheet newspapers, including The Times, The Financial Times and The Scotsman.

The supremo also gave a number of interviews in which he predicted that in ten years time the firm's new acquisition, B&Q, would dominate the DIY market and Tesco and Asda would do the same in the grocery sector. At the time City pundits and the media ridiculed Rodgers for his views, but in retrospect his foresight about the market was remarkable.

The press advertisements are believed to have drawn attention to the break-up value of F.W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd. and prompted a 'management buy in' offer from a consortium of venture capitalists in 1982, which set the firm on a very different course as the Eighties continued.


The original Woolworth strategy for the eighties, by Company Chairman Geoffrey Rogers. This was prepared in 1979 and circulated shortly after the chain announced that it had bought the DIY retailer B&Q.


We have enlarged the graphic from the left hand side of the advertisement to make it more legible, and reproduced this below.


Graphic setting out the key elements of the intended Woolworth strategy for the Eighties



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