New York City's F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10 empire launched its Woolco discount mart division, with a store on the southern outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, in June 1962. The first Canadian Woolco store was dedicated, in Sudbury, Ontario, in October of the same year. In October 1967, the first Woolco in Great Britain made its debut. The store was located in Oadby, Leicester ["Lester"].
By mid-1967, there were thirty-seven stateside locations, with seventeen in operation in Canada. Stores in the rapidly-expanding Woolco chain would encompass between 60,000 and 110,000 square feet. The Greater New York City market was entered in 1966. The first Southern California store was dedicated in 1970 with Greater Chicago's first Woolco making its debut in 1973.
After several unprofitable years, the American Woolco division was shuttered. Three hundred and thirty-six stores closed, in unison, in January 1983. British Woolco stores were converted to the Woolworth brand in 1982, with those remaining in Canada being sold to Wal-Mart in 1994.
WOOLCO-ANCHORED SHOPPING MALLS:
*100 OAKS MALL, Nashville, TN (1967)
*LA MIRADA CENTER, La Mirada, CA (1970)