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RX AUSTRALIA 360° Woolworths claims position of largest retailer


The first edition of the RetailX Australia 360° 2023 report looks in detail at this fast-developing market and how the shoppers who live there want to buy, one of its eight case studies looks at how Woolworths witnessed a return to “stability” this year.

Woolworths, ranked Elite in the Australia Top100, launched 99 years ago with a mission to offer value. Its first store, the Sydney-based Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement, opened in 1924. 

Today, the supermarket group claims the position of Australia’s largest retailer, employing more than 190,000 staff across Australia and New Zealand. Its strategic focus remains on value and convenience – a strategy that is also reflected on its website, where shoppers are encouraged to boost their budget by collecting Everyday Rewards points, buying special offers or having a leftovers day. 

Woolworths has sold online since 1992 and its website is easy to navigate and buy from, with options that include advice from its Olive chatbot. 

In the year to June 2023, group-wide ecommerce sales came to AUD $6.6bn – 0.8% up on the previous year, and representing 11% of the group’s $64.3bn sales. Online sales grew faster in the second half (+13.2%) having fallen by 5.8% in the first half. 

Woolworths says this reflects strong takeup of express and same-day delivery. In its current financial year, the retailer is investing $2bn in its store and ecommerce network, from new openings to technology and supply chain resilience. 

Speaking as Woolworths Group announced full year results in June 2023, chief executive Brad Banducci said the 2023 financial year “marked a return to relative stability after several years of material Covid-related disruption”. 

He added: “This was most evident in the ongoing normalisation of shopping habits with customers shopping more frequently and increasingly on weekends and evenings. Despite the more stable environment, our overall customer experience was inconsistent, impacted by lingering supply chain challenges and, most recently, by the impact of inflation on value for money perceptions. While overall customer demand has been remarkably stable, we are increasingly seeing our customers become more careful in their spending patterns.” 

The retailer’s services currently include same-day delivery alongside collection options – including direct to car boot – from more than 700 stores. Shoppers can sign up for its Delivery Unlimited subscription, at AUD $15 per month or $119 per year. The retailer has a mobile app on Android and iOs which enables shoppers to sort their shopping list by aisle, use in-app barcode special and activate everyday rewards offers. Its landing page links to five social media websites – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and X (formally Twitter). 

This company profile originally appeared in the RetailX Australia 360° 2023 report. Download it in full to discover:

  • The leading retailers, brands and marketplaces selling to this market, ranked
  • Analysis: understanding the Australian ecommerce market and the need-to-know trends and opportunities when selling to Australia
  • Key learnings – Australia is developing quickly as an ecommerce and multichannel market

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