It’s a common theme (at least in the UK) that people bemoan the passing of ‘institutions’ like Woolies, yet never went and bought anything when it was open.
We saw this over the last decade with small high-street shops going under whilst superstores and chain retailers survived, because they were able to use their colossal buying power to force suppliers to drop their prices.
Only recently have the public seen the error of their ways, and buying organic is now in vogue.
Woolworths was the first of the buy ’em high, sell ’em cheap retailers. The proprieter apparently had to put up signs to the effect that prices were fixed, and staff weren’t allowed to negotiate. Apparently customers were used to haggling over the price of their Fairy Liquid.
Similarly, since most goods were either 3d or 6d (thru’pence or sixpence, respectively), the registers (such as they were) were programmed to only accept multiples of 3d – if you wanted a penny chew, you either had to have three, or lose out on tu’pence.
It seems harsh, but businesses aren’t owed a market, and Woolworths lost its way a while back.