No, Woolworths is almost definitely not coming back to save 2020 1 month ago

No, Woolworths is almost definitely not coming back to save 2020

"Siri, define 'fake news'"

When you think of online disinformation and fake news you probably think of Russia and its efforts to influence Western elections, or Donald Trump and his efforts to influence his own election.

We normally don't think of fake news in relation to beloved high street businesses, but then again we don't live in normal times.

On Tuesday morning, Twitter was awash with excited tweets about the return of one such company: Woolworths. People were buzzing, as if seeing that red and white decor - shining like a mirage amongst the boarded up store fronts adjacent to it - would make things whole again.

Compilation discs, cheap DVDs, calendars and pick n' mix - that's how we'll fight our way out of this pandemic.

As generally happens with this sort of viral story, it was quickly picked up by media outlets across the UK, who shared a tweet from an account called @UKWoolworths which said:

"Here to save 2020! Woolworths is coming back to your high street, as a physical store! A couple of legal things to get sorted, but we’re full steam ahead at Woolworths HQ.

"We want to get this right, so we need your help. What do you want at your UK #YourWoolworths?"


To some, this seemed weird straight from the off. The account had next to zero followers at the time of the tweet being sent out, for a start.

Secondly, clicking on the link in its Twitter bio, yourwoolworths.co.uk, brings you to this landing page. Nothing to see there.

Thirdly, and really if you need any more evidence then you're probably a lost cause, they spelled the company's name wrong twice in the same tweet. 'Woolsworths' indeed.

To put the fake cherry on top of the fake cake before stuffing it down our fake throats, JOE contacted Very, the company that owns the Woolworths brand, for comment.

A spokesperson for The Very Group commented: “We own the Woolworths trademark in the UK. The Twitter account UKWoolworths is not connected to The Very Group.”

This isn't exactly the Panama Papers, or Cambridge Analytica, but it is an example of how quickly fake news - however harmless it may be - can spread, providing people want to believe it.