‘World’s gone mad’: Outrage over major retailer’s ‘woke’ Australia Day move

Jan 11, 2024
The announcement has sparked public reactions, ranging from frustration to anger, igniting a heated debate on social media. Source: Getty Images.

Retail giant Woolworths has found itself at the centre of controversy after announcing its decision not to stock Australia Day-themed merchandise this year.

Woolworths, along with its subsidiary BIG W, revealed to 7NEWS.com.au that they would not be offering items specific to Australia Day in 2024.

“While Australian flags are sold within BIG W all year round, we don’t have any additional themed merchandise available to purchase in-store in our Supermarkets or BIG W ahead of Australia Day,” a Woolworths Group spokesperson said.

Explaining the reasoning behind this unexpected move, the Woolworths Group spokesperson noted a decline in demand for Australia Day merchandise in recent years.

They also recognised the ongoing discussions in society about January 26 and the diverse viewpoints within different community groups.

“There has been a gradual decline in demand for Australia Day merchandise from our stores over recent years. At the same time there’s been broader discussion about 26 January and what it means to different parts of the community,” the spokesperson added.

“We know many people like to use this day as a time to get together and we offer a huge variety of products to help customers mark the day as they choose.

“Woolworths and BIG W celebrate the best of Australia every day, and we’re proud to support the farmers, producers, and suppliers who work with us.”

The announcement has triggered a wave of reactions from the public, with sentiments ranging from frustration to outright anger. Social media platforms are ablaze with comments reflecting the ongoing debate over corporate entities adopting what some perceive as “woke” stances.

Woolworths’ decision adds fuel to the ongoing debate about Australia Day’s controversial nature. With a growing call to reconsider January 26, acknowledging its historical implications for Indigenous Australians, many argue against celebrating the day.

Though the date remains unchanged, more councils and state governments are reevaluating traditional Australia Day activities, such as canceling citizenship ceremonies. This reflects a broader trend challenging established norms around the national day.

Despite Woolworths holding its ground, the public debate on Australia Day is gaining momentum, seemingly signalling a broader trend challenging the established norms of the national day.

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