United Kingdom

Woolworths brand to be reborn as a car insurer after entrepreneur registers trademark 

The iconic Woolworths name, once a familiar sight on British high streets and synonymous with pick 'n' mix, is set to be reborn this year as a car insurance company.

A trademark has been registered by entrepreneur Simon Burgess, who says that, coincidentally, his grandfather's family name was Woolworth. He has also registered a domain name, Woolworths.uk. 

Burgess told The Mail on Sunday a launch was imminent and that he is in 'active talks at board level' with corporate backers.

Woolworths collapsed in 2008 in the heat of the financial crisis

Woolworths collapsed in 2008 in the heat of the financial crisis after struggling for years to make a profit. The brand was subsequently acquired by the Barclay brothers David and Frederick through their Shop Direct business and relaunched as an online site.

But in 2015, that too ceased trading after it was subsumed into Shop Direct's Very.co.uk business.

Burgess, who made his fortune selling his family business British Insurance to Towergate a decade ago, said: 'We don't want to be a retail organisation. How do you compete with Amazon?

'But I do want to take my birthright and create something for my children and grandchildren.'

He added: 'This is something that is iconic and with financial services there is a potential. We are ready to move as soon as we get the green light from an insurance partner.'

Burgess said he contacted Shop Direct last year to inform them of his registration of the name for insurance services.

The opposition period to the new trademark application has now closed.

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