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Chain store retailing in Ireland: a case study of F.W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd, 1914-2008

Barbara Walsh (Kildangan, Ireland)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 11 February 2014




The purpose of this paper is to present a view of how a retail chain store and its marketing strategies impacted on shopping habits in twentieth century Ireland.


Primary and secondary sources include company documents, oral history and press reports. Background social, political and economic factors are considered in conjunction with the methods this firm used to build customer-driven managed marketing systems and teams of good staff relationships.


Woolworth's Irish stores responded to changing tastes and needs of consumers throughout Ireland. The Irish market required skilful techniques to overcome widening divisions within customer profiles to accommodate increasing north-south and urban-rural patterns. Welcomed by shoppers of all ages and genders, this firm's contribution to Ireland's retailing and wider commercial scene was innovative, popular, flexible and influential.


The overview of this well-known retail chain store's experience in twentieth century Ireland can provide scholars with building blocks on which to expand knowledge and develop further understanding of a largely un-tapped field of research within the history of marketing in Ireland.



Walsh, B. (2014), "Chain store retailing in Ireland: a case study of F.W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd, 1914-2008", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 98-115.



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