The once revered Woolworths could soon be making a return to the UK.

Known for its pick 'n' mix sweets and bargain prices, Woolworths is perhaps the ultimate blast of high street nostalgia.

In 2009 when its British shops closed after the financial crisis, the brand in Germany, where it is known as Woolworth, was saved by HH Holding.

Current HH Holding chief Roman Heini seeks to expand internationally and says the UK is on his "bucket list" of destinations.

Popular chain Wilko, which filled the gap left by Woolworths, infamously collapsed just last year in 2023.

Mr Heini - who has worked in executive positions in both Aldi and Lidl and has been Woolworth's chief executive since 2020 - told trade magazine Retail Week that despite the challenges of a cost-of-living crisis he had the opportunity to "make Woolworth great again".

If "Woolies" were to return to UK High Streets, it is unclear how it would be spelt.

Woolworth Germany told the BBC: "The brand name 'Woolworth' (without the 's') is owned by us throughout Europe. Should we ever plan to return to the UK, we would scrutinise the naming rights to minimise the risk of confusion. A transfer of rights could help if necessary."

Woolworths originated in the US and operated for 100 years in the UK, having opened its first store in Liverpool in 1909. It had 807 British stores and its closure left more than 27,000 people unemployed.

It suffered from the economic downturn of 2008-09 and cheaper competitors eating into its market share. Some analysts say it was also not able to keep up with online shopping.

Woolworth Germany said it was "unable to confirm any plans for Woolworth to return to the UK market" but that such a move was not ruled out in principle.

"Britain is on his [Roman Heini's] bucket list"

"Britain is on his [Roman Heini's] bucket list, although nothing is imminent," a spokesperson said, adding "but it may be in the mix for the mid- or long-term future".

Previously, it was known for its variety of items including children's clothing brand Ladybird, CDs and confectionery.

However, with Mr Heini at the helm, Woolworth Germany now sells predominantly clothing and homeware, which he says is at "unbeatable prices".