a chain of large shops in Britain and other countries, that sold a wide variety of goods at low prices. It had branches in many British towns and cities and for many years was Britain's leading chain of retail shops. The first shop was established in the US in 1879 by F W Woolworth (1852-1919) and known as Woolworth. The first British shop opened in Liverpool in 1909. However, by 2008, the Woolworth's shops in Britain were in so much debt they could not continue to operate, and all the British stores had closed by January 2009. In Britain Woolworth's was sometimes called ‘Woolie's’. The US Woolworth shops went out of business in 1997.