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Introduction to Woolworths Supermarkets

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Woolworths Supermarkets or Woolworths, Australia’s largest grocery store/supermarket chain operating 995 stores across the country. The chain is owned by Woolworths Limited. It is also known as Woolies and was founded in 1924 and has managed to account for about 80% of the country’s market. It has a near-duopoly of Australian Supermarkets along with Coles which has now reached to a count of 11,5000 store team members, distribution centres, and support offices.

Selling vegetables, packaged foods, fruit, meals is the company’s specialization. Apart from the grocery store, it sells magazines, beauty products, DVDs, health products, household products, baby supplies and stationery items and many more. You might have heard the name “HomeShop” and tagline click and collect; these belong to Woolworths Supermarkets. It is a home shopping delivery service provider offering the customers range, convenience and value.

Let’s have a look at the story of the supermarket

How did it start?

Originally, the name of the largest grocery store was “Wallworths Bazaar Ltd.” The name was a consequence of the internationally renowned F. W. Woolworth. On September 22, 1924, the company acquired the name Woolworths Limited.

After three years of operation, due to the capital by the shareholders and traders, the company experienced a hike in its dividends from 5% to 50%.

What led to the success of the company?

The company, from December 1924, began selling a variety of goods, offering money back guarantees, and claiming lowest prices. It was the first company to install receipt printing cash register machines in 1926. Gradually, the company strategized to experiment with the expansion of the grocery range, and after 20 years, it had a store in the country’s every state and saw the creation of the first “Big W”- The Fresh Food People as the logo and the tagline in 1955.

Buyouts from Woolworths

The company’s acquisition list began with Roelf Vos and Purity. In the year 2000, they were given the name of Woolworths. Out of all the buyouts of the company, the biggest was of Safeway brand in the country. It was an American supermarket which had collaborated with an independent supermarket, Victorian in 1961. In the year 1985, the giant took over Safeway Australia. The company became so powerful that it was able to rebrand all the stores in Queensland as Woolworths supermarkets. The process took five years, the process completed in the year 2013. There were hundreds of branches of Safeway, but Woolworths was able to acquire all and ended the brand after 54 years.

Loyalty Schemes

The number of incentives for purchasing at the stores of the supermarket is included in loyalty schemes. For example, subsidizing petrol prices at Caltex Woolworths petrol stations and Woolworths Plus Petrol. The key discount figures are 2-cent, 4-cent, and 6-cent. But it also reached to 10-cent in some regions on purchasing of a certain amount.

Reward Program

Reward Program for shopping in Woolworths stores is named Frequent Shopper Club in Tasmania. F$C or Frequent Shopper Club started in 1992 by Purity. The voucher is valid of you to accrue $2000 and is worth $20.

Private Label Brands

There are four levels of generic or private label brands-

  1. Woolworths Homebrand
  2. Woolworths Select
  3. Woolworths Gold
  4. Woolworths Fresh
  5. Macro Wholefoods Market

Countries with Woolworths Supermarket

  • New Zealand
  • Queensland
  • New South Wales
  • Flemings
  • Tasmania


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