Wellworths forced to become Wellchester

Claire Robertson outside the store

Claire Robertson outside the store

First published in News by

Dorchester’S most famous shop has been forced to change its name.

Wellworths will soon become Wellchester after corporate giants told its manager it would face limits on its growth if it continues under its current name.

Claire Robertson, the manager of the former Woolworths store which became a major success story, said Shop Direct – which bought the Woolworths brand out of administration – would not agree to terms that would allow the company to expand as Wellworths.

The move has been condemned by business leaders.

Former Woolworths Saturday girl Ms Robertson said: “Shop Direct, the parent of Littlewoods, owner of Woolworths name, initially supported the opening of the former Woolworths store in Dorchester as Wellworths – but then sought an agreement which would place limits on the growth of the business under the Wellworths name.

“Regretfully, rather than accept those limits, Wellworths has decided to replace the Wellworths name with Wellchester over the course of the next two years.”

Ms Robertson added: “We have done extremely well over the last year and a half and we’re extremely pleased with how things have gone.

“We have had great support from the customers and from Dorchester and we are now looking forward to the future and hopefully expanding under the new name.

“I hope we’re going to move on from strength to strength.”

Dorchester town crier Alistair Chisholm said the owners of the Woolworths brand should have better things to do than make an issue about the name.

Mr Chisholm said: “How sad that a great big corporation that happens to have that control over a certain name is flexing its muscles.

“I’m delighted she’s not going to be dictated by people that are making far too much of the brand name and not giving her enough credit for what she has done. They should have better things to do with their time than to challenge someone of Claire’s genuine goodwill who has kept people employed and kept the shop going.”

Phil Gordon, project director of the Dorchester BID, said: “It’s disappointing that they have to change the name but if that leaves the door open to expansion then that’s definitely a good thing.

“Wellworths has developed its own identity.”

Wellworths customer Rosalind Holbrook, aged 55, of Castle Park in Dorchester, said: “I use Wellworths weekly and I don’t think it will make a difference. People will shop there – it’s only a name.”

Another regular, Charlotte Turaga, aged 33, of Holbrook Close in Dorchester, said: “As long as everything is still inside I cannot see it making a difference.”

Comments (15)

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12:00pm Thu 28 Oct 10

wendybears says...

What a pity that the Barclay Brothers feel threatened by one woman providing work for 20 people and a service to Dorchester should be so heavy handed and force Ms Robertson to change the name from Wellworths, which is not the same as Woolworth's - to protect themselves - shame on them with their multi-million pound empire.
What a pity that the Barclay Brothers feel threatened by one woman providing work for 20 people and a service to Dorchester should be so heavy handed and force Ms Robertson to change the name from Wellworths, which is not the same as Woolworth's - to protect themselves - shame on them with their multi-million pound empire. wendybears
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Thu 28 Oct 10

Mrs Grumps says...

What a pity that the people at Wellworth's don't feel they can contest this bullying. The names are not the same and I would hope that the law would be on their side. It is true that it probably doesn't matter that much for shoppers, as long as the shop offers the same services but the principle is there, that we should fight corporate bullies whenever possible. How does it hurt them if it is called Wellworth's? Such pettiness should be resisted.
What a pity that the people at Wellworth's don't feel they can contest this bullying. The names are not the same and I would hope that the law would be on their side. It is true that it probably doesn't matter that much for shoppers, as long as the shop offers the same services but the principle is there, that we should fight corporate bullies whenever possible. How does it hurt them if it is called Wellworth's? Such pettiness should be resisted. Mrs Grumps
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Thu 28 Oct 10

JANEAUSTEN says...

How petty can you get. Is that what having money does to you.
Shame on them.
How petty can you get. Is that what having money does to you. Shame on them. JANEAUSTEN
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Thu 28 Oct 10

CoogarUK.com says...

Dorchester's most famous shop? Please!
Dorchester's most famous shop? Please! CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Thu 28 Oct 10

X Old Bill says...

Wellchester? What kind of name is that? If the idea is to expand into other towns then choose something that will 'move', not a play on Wellworth and Dorchester.
Claire Robertson has achieved fame with her 'Wellworths' so she should stick with something similar
.
If Wellworths is too much like Woolworths then try:
Well-worth.(No S)
Wellworthit.
In either case use a slightly different type face so that it is not like the old firm.
OR, how about a complete re-branding:
'Robertson's'
Wellchester? What kind of name is that? If the idea is to expand into other towns then choose something that will 'move', not a play on Wellworth and Dorchester. Claire Robertson has achieved fame with her 'Wellworths' so she should stick with something similar . If Wellworths is too much like Woolworths then try: Well-worth.(No S) Wellworthit. In either case use a slightly different type face so that it is not like the old firm. OR, how about a complete re-branding: 'Robertson's' X Old Bill
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Thu 28 Oct 10

fairbuttfirm says...

All of the above name suggestions are great but I suspect most of them (apart from Robinsons which would be nice maybe but I fear already taken by a Jam manufacturer and equine stores) would be subject to the same legal challenge as Wellworths ie sound like they are riding on the back of Woolworths!!

I quite like Wellchester as, in the first instant nicely combines Wellies and Dorchester, and the more astute might also spot that those of us who have got to know Claires store as 'Wellies' can stil call it the same as the most obviously shortened version of Wellchester has to be 'Wellies' still!!

In the words of a certain Mr Baldrick, " A cunning plan Sire!" Claire may not be able to call her store Wellies, but we, the great British public cant be stopped from doing so as far as I can see?
SO UP THE REVOLUTION and Good luck to Claire and her new 'WELLIES' store!!
All of the above name suggestions are great but I suspect most of them (apart from Robinsons which would be nice maybe but I fear already taken by a Jam manufacturer and equine stores) would be subject to the same legal challenge as Wellworths ie sound like they are riding on the back of Woolworths!! I quite like Wellchester as, in the first instant nicely combines Wellies and Dorchester, and the more astute might also spot that those of us who have got to know Claires store as 'Wellies' can stil call it the same as the most obviously shortened version of Wellchester has to be 'Wellies' still!! In the words of a certain Mr Baldrick, " A cunning plan Sire!" Claire may not be able to call her store Wellies, but we, the great British public cant be stopped from doing so as far as I can see? SO UP THE REVOLUTION and Good luck to Claire and her new 'WELLIES' store!! fairbuttfirm
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Thu 28 Oct 10

X Old Bill says...

fairbuttfirm wrote:
All of the above name suggestions are great but I suspect most of them (apart from Robinsons which would be nice maybe but I fear already taken by a Jam manufacturer and equine stores) would be subject to the same legal challenge as Wellworths ie sound like they are riding on the back of Woolworths!!

I quite like Wellchester as, in the first instant nicely combines Wellies and Dorchester, and the more astute might also spot that those of us who have got to know Claires store as 'Wellies' can stil call it the same as the most obviously shortened version of Wellchester has to be 'Wellies' still!!

In the words of a certain Mr Baldrick, " A cunning plan Sire!" Claire may not be able to call her store Wellies, but we, the great British public cant be stopped from doing so as far as I can see?
SO UP THE REVOLUTION and Good luck to Claire and her new 'WELLIES' store!!
As you know the lady, are you saying that the Echo have got her name wrong?
.
I think that you will find that Frank Winfield Woolworth started with just one store, which carried his name.
The very best of luck for the future to Claire Robertson, or Robinson, or whichever. I just hope that her 'Wellies of Dorchester' stores find custom in other towns.
[quote][p][bold]fairbuttfirm[/bold] wrote: All of the above name suggestions are great but I suspect most of them (apart from Robinsons which would be nice maybe but I fear already taken by a Jam manufacturer and equine stores) would be subject to the same legal challenge as Wellworths ie sound like they are riding on the back of Woolworths!! I quite like Wellchester as, in the first instant nicely combines Wellies and Dorchester, and the more astute might also spot that those of us who have got to know Claires store as 'Wellies' can stil call it the same as the most obviously shortened version of Wellchester has to be 'Wellies' still!! In the words of a certain Mr Baldrick, " A cunning plan Sire!" Claire may not be able to call her store Wellies, but we, the great British public cant be stopped from doing so as far as I can see? SO UP THE REVOLUTION and Good luck to Claire and her new 'WELLIES' store!![/p][/quote]As you know the lady, are you saying that the Echo have got her name wrong? . I think that you will find that Frank Winfield Woolworth started with just one store, which carried his name. The very best of luck for the future to Claire Robertson, or Robinson, or whichever. I just hope that her 'Wellies of Dorchester' stores find custom in other towns. X Old Bill
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Thu 28 Oct 10

irisred says...

Oh I think there's a hefty amount of spin on this story. I'm sure she got a reasonable sum for the name, and if she (or her legal representatives) didn't, then they should be ashamed.

I do think tho that perhaps a completely new name might have been more beneficial, Wellchester is awful!
Oh I think there's a hefty amount of spin on this story. I'm sure she got a reasonable sum for the name, and if she (or her legal representatives) didn't, then they should be ashamed. I do think tho that perhaps a completely new name might have been more beneficial, Wellchester is awful! irisred
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Thu 28 Oct 10

RepublicOfSouthill says...

What a rubbish name. 'Wellchester.'
I hope she has a rethink and comes up with something better than that.
What a rubbish name. 'Wellchester.' I hope she has a rethink and comes up with something better than that. RepublicOfSouthill
  • Score: 0

2:12am Fri 29 Oct 10

K9 says...

Wellchested. Buywell.
Wellchested. Buywell. K9
  • Score: 0

10:56am Fri 29 Oct 10

white43 says...

CoogarUK.com wrote:
Dorchester's most famous shop? Please!
And the most famous shop is?

What a petty situation. Shop Direct should be ashamed. Still, won't make that much difference, if Wellies expands, it will be under the new name anyway.
[quote][p][bold]CoogarUK.com[/bold] wrote: Dorchester's most famous shop? Please![/p][/quote]And the most famous shop is? What a petty situation. Shop Direct should be ashamed. Still, won't make that much difference, if Wellies expands, it will be under the new name anyway. white43
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Fri 29 Oct 10

CoogarUK.com says...

white43 wrote:
CoogarUK.com wrote:
Dorchester's most famous shop? Please!
And the most famous shop is?

What a petty situation. Shop Direct should be ashamed. Still, won't make that much difference, if Wellies expands, it will be under the new name anyway.
It has several, designated by blue plaques on the wall. Shop Direct is only doing what any creditable entity would do, protecting rights to the intellectual property it owns. If Claire was that clever she would have bought the Woolworths name out of administration herself but at the end of the day she is just the public face of a silent financial backer. In other words, a shop manager! My guess is that the whole name issue was known at the time of the original agreement to use Wellworths. I also agree with those who feel that Wellchester is a poor choice of new name.
[quote][p][bold]white43[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CoogarUK.com[/bold] wrote: Dorchester's most famous shop? Please![/p][/quote]And the most famous shop is? What a petty situation. Shop Direct should be ashamed. Still, won't make that much difference, if Wellies expands, it will be under the new name anyway.[/p][/quote]It has several, designated by blue plaques on the wall. Shop Direct is only doing what any creditable entity would do, protecting rights to the intellectual property it owns. If Claire was that clever she would have bought the Woolworths name out of administration herself but at the end of the day she is just the public face of a silent financial backer. In other words, a shop manager! My guess is that the whole name issue was known at the time of the original agreement to use Wellworths. I also agree with those who feel that Wellchester is a poor choice of new name. CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Sat 30 Oct 10

spangler says...

"Dorchester’s most famous shop" ?
.
Wouldn't that be either Frank Herring or Goulds ?
"Dorchester’s most famous shop" ? . Wouldn't that be either Frank Herring or Goulds ? spangler
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Sat 30 Oct 10

CoogarUK.com says...

spangler wrote:
"Dorchester’s most famous shop" ?
.
Wouldn't that be either Frank Herring or Goulds ?
Of course not. It's Wellworthschester. You should know that because the Echo told you so!
[quote][p][bold]spangler[/bold] wrote: "Dorchester’s most famous shop" ? . Wouldn't that be either Frank Herring or Goulds ?[/p][/quote]Of course not. It's Wellworthschester. You should know that because the Echo told you so! CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

10:22am Sun 31 Oct 10

nigefromdorchester says...

Why not call it "Cheapstuff" ?

or "Bumpf" or "notworthit" or

"plasticheaven"? or "50pencestretcher"

or"DHSSheaven" or "pensionspender"


I live in Dorchester and have been in there once.... didn't find much stuff that was well worth anything really...
Why not call it "Cheapstuff" ? or "Bumpf" or "notworthit" or "plasticheaven"? or "50pencestretcher" or"DHSSheaven" or "pensionspender" I live in Dorchester and have been in there once.... didn't find much stuff that was well worth anything really... nigefromdorchester
  • Score: 0

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