How Woollies plans to get you back in store

Thing haven’t been great in Woolworths’ head office lately, with profits taking a 12.5 per cent dive, Coles breathing down

Thing haven’t been great in Woolworths’ head office lately, with profits taking a 12.5 per cent dive, Coles breathing down its neck and Aldi chipping away at its underbelly.

But as always, Woolies has a plan. And it’s an interesting one.

Taking leadership from successful UK retailers that have managed to adapt to the changing lifestyles of their customers, Woolworths has announced it will focus on its range of gourmet ready meals – targeting busy singles and those who live alone.

In the UK, this has been a successful strategy for Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Asda, but will it work here?

According to News Limited, Woolworths estimates the prepared meals sector is worth $22 billion a year.

“We’ll be competing not just with [other] supermarkets but with quick-service restaurants,”said chairman Gordon Cairns.

Woolies currently offers Jamie Oliver and Michelle Bridges ready meals and has set up a “city kitchen” in Sydney to produce the heat-and-eat-meals.

It’s expected the new offerings will hurt take-away food stores, as well as branded companies currently producing ready meals, as the new lines will be private label – made on behalf of Woolworths by a third party.

Coles offers some ready meals currently, but has not yet made a counter-statement to Woolies’ plan.

The supermarket has previously said, “We know customers are sometimes short on time but still want to make a healthy and tasty meal at home. So, Coles has had a range of ready-to-cook meal solutions for several years, including pre-cut vegetables and mixed salads, along with a range of prepared and marinated meats.”

An example of their range is the ready-to-cook or reheat options they started selling last year under the name “Coles Made Easy”.

Tell us, would you but ready-to-eat meals from Woolworths? Would it make your life easier? 


  1. Coles are taking that much off the shelves I find myself in Woolies shopping without them doing things to generate more shoppers.

    • Find an IGA store. They carry most of the stuff that Coles and Woolies have deleted “because of poor sales”. Liars.

  2. If Woollies want my custom they will go back to providing a wider range of products/brands and drop multi-buy specials. Buying more than I need does not mean a saving.

    • You are so right Kaye, I don’t want to multi buy products, being by myself it’s a waste, it is wrong. I have already been in touch with Woolies about this but they have never had the decency to reply.

    • Indeed Kay Steel.Unless you have a big family,these multi buys are a waste of money! Why not just lower the price on the single item and people can buy as little or as much as they need!

    • Kay, I may be wrong, but I am sure that if buying one of the multi buy items it has to be charged at the price advertised, eg “3 for $3”, then 1 would cost $1 unless stated otherwise. Worth checking out though.

    • I asked woolies about only buying one of the multi buys and was told that it was only a special on a multi buy, if I only wanted one I would have to pay the normal price for it

    • It’s in the fine print on the label e.g. Buy 3 for $3 or $1.50 if purchased singly. Very annoying!

    • worth a look though at the single price as often it is only cents that is saved on the multi buy but perhaps dollars on the purchase of just the one item ie 2/$10 whereas if you buy one it might only be $5.40 – that sort of thing

    • Maxine  

      I agree with you Kay. Give people what they want, drop prices, and more brands to choose from.

      I go shopping to buy what I WANT!! not the brands woollies tell me I am going to buy.
      WAKE UP WOOLIES!!!!!!

    • I tried to buy four on a three for one deal and they tried to charge full price for the fourth item. I argued that that was rubbish. The checkout girl said I had to buy two more to get the deal. Needless to say I left them all there.

    • Don’t Aldi and Costco have multi buys though… and people flock there… I for one, wont be going, don’t have a car, bus it everywhere and have my own shopping buggy, that can only hold so much…. Bargains are bargains, and I am darn good at finding bargains, so will continue to do my own thing…

    • Woolies and Coles the same. If they dont have brand i want, which is often. I go elsewhere. Wont be pushed in to buying their rubbish. Just talking about this yesterday at my zumba class. Lot of people feel the same. ?

    • For the so called “muilti buy” isnothing but a scam.I never buy them. They only serve for a customer to spend more then real needs

  3. I tried some of their “ready to heat range” not only are they expensive they were pretty awful as well. Drop prices will get people back in store.

  4. Nope. It took me 3 mins last night to make a salad with corned beef. Much quicker than any pre cooked meal which are just never on my shopping list. What would get me back to Woolies would be lower prices and Australian produce given a fair price, even if it meant raising the price of imported goods. Of late my local Woolies’ fresh produce has been a disgrace.

  5. I regularly shop at Woolies but I won’t be buying ‘ready to heat’ range. For health and flavour I like to cook from scratch. It doesn’t have to take a long time.

  6. Value adding with a vengeance. Turn ten cents worth of ingreds into a couple of bucks in the blink of an eye.

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