Woolworths vows to win us back after “not good enough” performance 275



View Profile

Woolworths has certainly seen better days. The supermarket giant has been struggling to keep up with Coles – not to mention shoppers’ newfound love for Aldi and Costco.

But David Chambers, the recently-appointed Woolworths head of supermarkets, has big plans to turn this around.

According to the Financial Review, Chambers was shocked at what he found on arriving in Sydney: empty shelves, long checkout queues and faulty trolleys.

”Customers were saying service wasn’t good enough and availability wasn’t good enough”, he said.

Woolworths had previously made cuts to staff hours, and it was starting to show. While they had been opening up new stores at a record rate, the refurbishments for existing stores have been slowing down, potentially driving shoppers away.

Chambers has vowed to go back to basics to win customers back. “What we’re after is having a great store every day for our customers”, he told Fairfax Media.

The supermarket will be spending $65 million over the next year to upgrade its shopping trolleys, fix its shelves and floors and remove the gates at the front of its stores to offer a warmer welcome.

Woolworths has also improved its staff hours – particularly in fresh produce and checkouts – by 56,000 hours a week. They have further plans to add another 63,000 hours to ensure their stores are better run in these key areas.

“We need to have stores in the right place, we need to have a great network looking forward, we have to have the right price and we have to have a great experience for the customer”.

“All those elements need to be working very well – this is the last piece”.

The Financial Review says this is very similar to Coles’ turnaround seven years ago.

“We are starting to do better on trolleys and baskets and staff attitude”, says Chambers.

“Fruit and vegetables, queue time and out-of-stocks are the three [areas] we have the most opportunity in”.

Are you a Woolies shopper? What do you think of this announcement? And what areas would you most like to see improve?

Starts at 60 Writers

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

  1. We’ll see! Not holding my breath! In there yesterday getting a few things and it was a nightmare at the checkout. Poor checkout staff having to scan and pack (and process the payment) whilst the queue grows longer by the second. And they want our custom back…. Joke!

    6 REPLY
    • Go through the self serve checkouts.

      1 REPLY
      • I’ll NEVER go through the self-serve check-outs, all that is doing is taking jobs away from people. What they SHOULD do is get rid of the self-serves and employ more staff instead!

    • Aldi have never packed so why moan, they get the lines moving and always put extra check outs on when needed, unlike Woolies and Coles who want you to use the self check outs.

    • Self serve is a breeze. Although it would prefer they employed checkout staff. Got to keep the shareholders happy.

    • I refuse to use self service on principle – every three self serve check outs is one full time job GONE!!!!!

  2. We need a grocery store that has ALL non halal products!! I know it would be a success!

    2 REPLY
    • Get off the Halal wagon.
      You drive a car that use oil and petrol from Muslim countries. And even though you may think you are buying non Halal certified food, do you ever check the ingredients in that food to see if they are non Halal. And did you know that Muslims bless the rain falling from the sky which means you drink and bathe in Halal blessed water.

  3. Stop bumping up prices weekly & bring back brand names, I don’t want to buy the select brand. Support AUSTRALIA.

    5 REPLY
    • Some of the select brands are all right but some are not.. I have been buying bird seed for my finches & canary for years & now they only have their own brand & it’s just rubbish..

    • I agree Rhonda. I want brand names and more choice. I am a one person household and don’t want to buy 2 litres of things!

      1 REPLY
      • I agree with you Kerrie. I like to choose the brands I buy. Also like you I am a one person family. It would help if they remembered that not everyone shops for a big family. Try catering to singles & couples as well.

    • I am sick of them cutting down what we can buy in their stores. Only 90% home brand, I DON’T WANT HOME BRAND. The variety of name brand stock is also terrible.

  4. It’s easy. Just reduce their outrageous prices to us the customers and pay our Aussie farmers a fair price for produce. While they are doing that they could also reduce the huge payments they give CEOs. Problem solved and I haven’t even had my coffee yet.

  5. Getting rid of all the Woolworths brand products would be a great start. Atherton store has deteriorated immensely in the short 12 months I’ve lived here. I’m now regularly shopping at the more expensive IGA where I can actually find what I want. Much better!

    1 REPLY
  6. Hate hate the I don’t care attitude of most of the staff and no bloody checkouts open except 2 most of the time, while staff look at you and ignore the fact the line up is getting longer. …. Given them the flick

  7. More checkouts. I am forced to use the self serve checkouts. I don’t like them,I want personal service.
    Eg.the Super IGA at Latrobe (Tasmania) morale is through the roof with staff who are enjoying themselves – it shows.

  8. here in N Z woollies is countdown ,we have exactly the same problems ,empty shelves ,long queues and fruit/veg section is nothing to inspire healthy eating .So we all shop at new world ,may have to pay a little more but they have a pleasant shopping experience and they have many checkouts open and 1 PACKER between 2 to pack

  9. Human beings manning checkouts, this means jobs… I refuse to use self serve for this reason alone, I am willing to wait, plus some brand names back, I rarely go to Woolworths anymore. For these very reasons.

    3 REPLY
    • I am like you I will wait for a manned checkout. If the queue gets long enough in my experience they open another checkout.

    • I find the same thing Debbie The luxury of being retired gives me the time these days, I’m usually not in an great rush these days, plus I rarely do big shops, buying fresh as I need it..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *