The F.W. Woolworth Company was one of the first five-and-dime stores, with its first iteration opening in Utica, New York, in 1879. Woolworth’s bloomed for a century. In fact, the Woolworth Building, the company’s headquarters, was the tallest building in New York City from 1913 until the Empire State Building was erected in 1930.
Woolworth’s decline started in the 1980s. In 1982 it had over 8,000 stores around the world, but sales declined due to the presence of big department stores like Target, Walmart and Kmart. It attempted to diversify and turn into a series of different specialty mall stores, but ultimately that failed. Except for one — World Foot Locker, which lives on today as Foot Locker.
The Woolworth name still lives in some countries, like Australia and South Africa, although the Woolworth’s we know went defunct in 1997 after it renamed itself to Venator Group and then later became Foot Locker, Inc.