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Woolworths has announced plans to close up to 30 Big W stores, as well as launch a new media business called Cartology.

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Woolworths in Australia has joined forces with Jamie Oliver to launch a healthy eating programme.

Activity across multiple channels

The new programme is called 'Healthier Easier' with advice available both in-store and online via the Woolworths website. The activity includes recipe ideas and videos from Jamie offering hints and tips to help customers produce delicious and healthier breakfasts, lunches and dinners. As well as being able to access the content online, Woolworths will make information available via its catalogue, magazine, social media pages and recipe cards in-store.

Building off the back of a six year partnership

The new programme follows a six year partnership between Jamie Oliver and Woolworths. Woolworths supermarket managing director, Claire Peters, commented, "Working closely with Jamie we are further showcasing our commitment to help our customers take more steps to eating better using the fresh, healthy and affordable ingredients they can access when shopping with us online or in-store. We know that healthy food habits start from a young age which is why in addition to the Healthier Easier program, helping educate and inspire Aussie kids to make smart and fresh food choices also remains critical for us.”

 

Woolworths has released H1 results with overall sales up 2.3% to AU$30.6bn for the six month to 30 December 2018.

Australian Food sales up 2.3% to AU$19.9bn

Food sales improved in the second quarter, but lower than expected sales in Q1 meant a slowdown for the half. It posted a 2.3% increase to AU$19.9bn, with EBIT rising 4% to AU$937m. The impact of the plastic bag ban and the success of Coles' Little Shop campaign were cited as the key reasons to falling 0.8% behind Coles' reported sales growth. However, Woolworths regained sales growth lead in the second quarter over Coles, as the two retailers continue to face difficult trading conditions. 

Woolworths provided an update on how its plans to differentiate its core customer offer. It continued to lower shelf prices with over 5,2000 SKUs on Dropped & Always programs at the of the first half. It saw growth in the healthy category, supported by new Marco lines and price reductions. In relation to redesigning its E2E operating model, it will rollout its 1Store Country of Origin Labelling in stores in July to meet legislative commitments.

Endeavour Drinks sales up 1.8% to AU$4,596m

Sales from Endeavour Drinks business increased 1.8%, but EBIT fell 6.4% to AU$290m. Focus areas are on improving range, service and the customer experience. During the reported period, Dan Murphy launched 30 minutes Pick Up and On Demand delivery (within two hours). In the second half, it expects EBIT to improve, committing to ramp-up digital initiatives, deliver more localised ranges, better service and greater convenience for customers.

New Zealand Food sales up 1.9% to AU$3,401m

New Zealand Food (Countdown) is beginning to build brand momentum and differentiation. It reported sales increase of 1.9% to AU$3,401m and 3.2% comparable sales growth, driven by improving customer perception and 40% online sales growth. In the second half, it will focus on four key areas, customer first and team first culture, fresh provenance, affordable health and online process improvement.

"Subdued consumer environment"

With ongoing cost pressures, Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci, said, “While trading across the Group for the first seven weeks of the second half has improved following more settled weather, we expect a more subdued consumer environment to continue for the foreseeable future."

Woolworths in Australia has launched a new concept store called 'The kitchen' by Woolworths, focused on health, wellness, organic and eco-friendly innovation.

Test bed for new products and the next big food trend

The new store, located in the affluent suburb of Double Bay in eastern Sydney, is around a third of the size of a typical Woolworths and is being used as a test bed for new innovative products. The retailer says that organic, healthy options and sustainability are at the heart of the new urban concept and it is designed to compliment the Woolworths supermarket offer that is already present in the same centre right above the store. If products sell well in the store, the retailer may look to roll them out more widely across its supermarket network.

Fresh and healthly food for now and later

As the name suggests the store features a kitchen serving wholesome cafe style food, as well as a barista serving organic coffee, healthy grab and go food options, a florist, a wide range of organic fruit and vegetables, plus an expanded Marco Wholefoods range. In fact, the only Woolworths private label available in the store is its Macro range. The retailer has worked with Australian chef Peter Rowland to develop the kitchen element of the store, which produces a fresh seasonal menu of items to be eaten in-store or taken away.

Sustainability at the heart

Reportedly over 500 products are unique to the store, with a strong focus of the range on local and sustainable products. Carrying on this theme, the shopping trolleys are made of recycled milk bottles and the baskets of recycled soft plastics. To reduce waste, the retailer will look to use excess produce to make fresh juices in-store, while it is also testing smarter packaging solutions.

Not another Thomas Dux...

Having recently disposed of its chain of premium stores, Thomas Dux, many might wonder what is the prupose of this store, in fact the unit it is in was orginally designed for a Thomas Dux store. However, Woolworths has clearly said this is a one-off store.

Woolworths Format Development Director, Rob McCartney, said, “We know that customers in the Double Bay area are looking for more convenient fresh food options. We wanted to create a custom-made offering that was unique to this community, which is how ‘The Kitchen’ by Woolworths was born. Our food journey at ‘The Kitchen’ starts with organic produce, free range, locally sourced products, as well as freshly prepared meals to eat in or pick up and take home."

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An essential summary of trading priorities, latest developments, and other key commercial insights for Woolworths Australia.

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Key presentation

This in-depth guide to Australia explores the key trends in grocery retail and the growth strategies of the leading retailers in the country.

An essential summary of trading priorities, latest developments, and other key commercial insights for Woolsworths Ltd.

We've developed a single, universal methodology for calculating food and consumer goods retail data, supported by our programme of primary and secondary research. This makes Retail Analysis the most reliable and robust source available for data of this type. 

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