Have you turned your back on Woolworths? 495



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Once upon a time, Woolworths were going from strength to strength, whilst Coles’ sales dwindled. They were riding high on their profits, and seemingly infallible ‘Fresh Food People’ catchphrase.

But in reality, it’s been years since Woolies was the number one supermarket, and figures today show just how badly the supermarket has fallen.

Woolworths has posted a massive 12.5 per cent slump in its full-year net profit to $2.15 billion, the worst result for the company since 2012.

They blame the fall in profit on write-downs and one-off costs, but us shoppers know that there’s something else going awry in Woolworths.

Their attempt to use ‘Cheap Cheap’ as their jingle was futile, as Coles had long been doing ‘Down Down’ with much success. And their hardware Bunnings rip-off Masters has catastrophically bombed. But is that all that’s been turning us away?

Sales growth for Woolworths’ core food, liquor and petrol business was just 2.1 per cent over the second half of the financial year despite average prices in its supermarkets falling by 5.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2015, and 2.8 per cent over the past year as a whole, as increased competition forced it to lower prices and offer cheaper products.

The group is also struggling to find a suitable CEO as Grant O’Brien is still running Woolworths despite resigning in June. Chairman Ralph Waters has also had enough and is moving aside.

It’s dire times for the once strong grocery chain, so is there any way they can pick it up? Some suggest selling off their struggling Masters’ hardware stores while other say there’s something deeper than that and it could lie in the management of the company, or lack thereof.

We want to know today, are you giving Woolies the cold shoulder? Why or why not? Where do you shop?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. For most shopping yes, they offered an online home delivery service they couldn’t honour, ……..next!

  2. I still shop there and if they don’t have what I need I go elsewhere. If what I need is Halal labelled I find something that isn’t. Altho’ that is getting harder each week it seems.

  3. I shop at Woolies–but that choice is almost totally based on my local shop having convenient parking compared to a similarly close Coles where the car park is always messy chaos. However, Woolworths continue to get worse and worse to the point where I may put up with the messy chaos!

    What are they doing wrong? Well, they’ve laid of staff so there’s always queues for the deli, checkout and customer service. The staff that are gone are mainly the good ones…leaving the shop with a bunch of snarky kids who don’t care.

    They’ve replaced a bunch of the normal checkouts with self service ones…fine if I have a basket but almost impossible with a trolley…and I try to do fewer, big shops.

    Prices? They have heavily advertised specials on a few items but have put up other prices to compensate for the loss leaders…fine if I want the specials, not so good if a staple food has just gone up by almost 50%

    Selection? I seem to have a choice of more and more processed rubbish and fewer and fewer standard foods to actually cook with. Related, their stock control is rubbish. They were out of hot cross buns before mid day on Easter Saturday and often run out of absolute basics.

    So…if they want to do better, they need to treat their customers better. Current cost cutting is joining a race to the bottom.

    6 REPLY
    • The self serve checkouts are supposedly only for a few items I stand there until they open a checkout, lately though they have several open I think are realising that we don’t like them.

    • Bob I couldn’t agree with you more, but here is a thought, until Aldi opened in Victoria Coles & Woollies were cruising along nicely charging what they wanted too if suppliers didn’t pay shelf space they didn’t stock their products, Aldi come along with lower prices a decent product , took a while but down down deeper & down started , then Woollies started to really lower prices , but take for example sausage mince it has doubled in the last 12 months, I am fortunate where I live , but I do not buy vegies from either store [green grocer for me example 5 KG spuds 2.99/3.99] & meat I buy bulk but from the meat wholesalers, they also knew that most people cant be bothered going from shop to shop, so they relied on people doing a one stop shop, so for how many years did these two rip us off ?

  4. I have noticed lately that woollies are selling crap to their customers and basic food such as bread and chicken are not of good quality, now I’m buying food outside woollies and buy only not food products ., I’m worried about food quality .

  5. Currently giving Woolies and Coles a miss – giving Aldi a go.

    14 REPLY
    • I wouldn’t get too excited about Aldi. Some of their products are great, friendly staff too, but quality often not there.

    • I have a list of things I use Aldi for but (despite the current ads) I couldn’t do a complete shop there. I tend to cook from scratch pretty well every meal and there are just too many ingredients I can’t get. However, things like loo roll, dish washer soap, butter, margarine, some cheeses, etc. etc. Aldi have great quality and low prices.

      The only problem is I keep getting tempted by some of their weekly (non grocery) specials. I went in for butter once and came out with a 42 inch TV!

    • The problem for me is that I do not think they have EVERYTHING we need, but as their veges etc grows will certainly try more, but only if I go over that way as they are about 20 km from home

    • IGA and Foodland are Aussie owned the rest are overseas companies. I know where my money is better spent. And farmers’ markets support the guys doing it tougher all the time because of so much garbage coming in here from overseas.

    • At least with woollies and Coles most of the profit apparently stays in this country .aldi and Costco profits go overseas

    • Not that there are many Aldis in Adelaide but they are coming but won’t get my business as South African!

  6. If they continue to flog off their select brands & continue to take off the shelves of well known brands then they will continue to slide

  7. Like so many Aussie’s I shop around for the specials, gone are the days when I could afford not to shop for a bargain, I had to duck into Woolies on Wednesday and if you Like Cadbury’s Chocolate, there is a good special at the moment for around $2.50 per block

    4 REPLY
    • Garry Graham ask yourself this, who approves Halal certification ? now if you don’t know the answer I will give it to you, The Department of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce is the Minister in charge of that..write to him, but it is just a blessing they add nothing to the food

  8. Maybe it’s got something to do with the way they treat their suppliers and publicity around that.
    It’d be nice to think people were getting sick of the monopoly that these corporate mongrels hold

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