Bankrupt department store chain Woolworths, a stalwart of British retailing for 100 years, turned out the lights at the final 200 of its 807 shops on Tuesday.
Debt-laden Woolworths filed for bankruptcy protection in November. Administrator Deloitte held a huge liquidation sale -- even selling off fixtures and fittings -- and announced last month it would close all Woolworths stores after attempts to find a buyer for the faltering chain failed. About 27,000 jobs are being lost.
The stores had been due to close by Monday, but Deloitte allowed an extra day so stores could sell their remaining stock.
The first British Woolworths store opened in Liverpool, northern England, in 1909 under the FW Woolworths brand -- a subsidiary of the U.S. company. The British retail company has outlasted its original U.S. parent, which closed its final Woolworths stores in 1997.
Woolworths, which sold everything from candy and children's toys to household appliances and DVDs, has struggled for years to remain relevant as supermarket chains expanded aggressively into its traditional business.
But it remains a sentimental favorite with many Britons.
''It's a family thing,'' said John Kerr, 51, shopping for last-minute bargains at a Woolworths in Brixton, south London. ''Yes, you can buy the same things in other stores but there isn't anywhere where you can buy anything from videos to toys to sweets all under one roof. It covers all generations.''
Deloitte has held talks with other retailers to take on the leases of around 300 Woolworths stores and hopes to sell off the firm's Ladybird children's clothes and Chad Valley toys brands.
The company is not related to Sydney, Australia-based Woolworths Ltd. or South Africa's Woolworths Holdings Ltd.