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.
This go woke go broke latest thingy is getting rather tedious.
— chook (@CathyWi06832881) January 10, 2024
World’s gone mad
— Harbourloyal (@robcinharbour) January 10, 2024
It’s just another sign that big corporations are meddling in politics and are pushing the woke agenda
— Mark Williams (@markwillow80) January 10, 2024
What is next Anzac cookies?
— ProfessorChaos (@ProfessorCh80S) January 10, 2024
This country gets more woke and pathetic every day.
— Alan Love (@AlanAlexLove) January 10, 2024