The Woolworths UK retail chain has gone into administration, leaving behind a legacy of technology projects and putting thousands of jobs in doubt.

The future of around 30,000 jobs remain uncertain after Woolworths, which has had a presence on the nation's high streets for nearly 100 years, buckled under its £385m debt.

It is not known how many IT jobs are at risk. Woolworths was unable to comment at the time of writing.

Woolworths has traditionally been a big user of technology. The high street retailer has been undertaking major improvements to its supply chain with established partner SAP. The company also featured in the CIO top 100 this year, ranked as number 73 because of its efforts in transforming its business models with technology.

Parent company Woolworths Group has put the 800-strong store chain as well as the Woolworths DVD and CD wholesale distribution business Entertainment UK into administration. Administrators from Deloitte had been in talks to sell the store, but Woolworths announced this morning that these discussions have ended, and the board have decided there is no longer any prospect of the store being able to operate as a going concern.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw), which represents thousands of members in Woolworths, said its members are "devastated" at the news.

John Gorle, Usdaw National Officer, said: "This is devastating news for our members. We will be seeking urgent talks with the administrators to ensure that our members’ future is at the top of their agenda and to understand the proposals for the businesses in the short to medium term.

“Many of the staff have served the companies for many years and are extremely dedicated and loyal and we will be doing everything we can to help them through this difficult time.”

“Obviously, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of the stores will be of great concern to employees, so we will do everything we can to help communicate the situation to the staff as the situation unfolds.”

“Many of the staff have served the companies for many years and are extremely dedicated and loyal and we will be doing everything we can to help them through this difficult time.”

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