Woolworths hits the headlines
Category: Blog

Today’s headlines feature two Woolworth’s businesses with reports that make me wonder if this great Australian retailing icon is possibly in danger of becoming out of touch with what consumers really want. These issues don’t relate to Architecture but both of them have driven me to seek alternative places to shop in recent times.

  • The first issue is that Woolworth’s have expressed a desire to increase their “home brand” offerings in store as Coles have done. This I believe is clearly a mistake from the Consumer’s point of view although, in the short term at least, I am sure it has been one of the contributing factors that has lead to Coles’ improved financial performance. I am sensing though that the resultant “choice reduction” is leading to an increased discontent amongst shoppers. Whilst I have some empathy with the concerns that an increase in home brands is likely to result in lower prices being paid to suppliers and that it is likely that more products will be sourced off shore as a result. My major concern though is that Consumer’s choice will be eroded and that there will be less transparency and control over what we are buying and where it is coming from. The choices that I am offered at our local 1000 sq m IGA far surpass what is on offer at our local 3,500 sq m Coles. How can this be??
  • The second issue relates to the less-than-impressive performance recently reported for Dick Smith Electronics. I must say I have been wondering for some time what Dick Smith is really trying to be. It is no longer an Electronics store! I believe that it has lost direction. Is it a Computer Retailer? Is it an Electrical Store? Is it a phone shop? Is it a Camera Shop? Where is the point of difference?

I urge Woolworths to continue to be true to their reputation of being a leader not a follower.

5 responses

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