|Headquarters||Bella Vista, New South Wales, Australia|
|Number of locations||179|
|Key people||Julie Coates, Director of Big W|
|Products||Apparel/Footwear, Home, Leisure, Toys & Sporting, Electronics, Optometry|
|Revenue||A$4.38 billion (2013)|
|Operating income||A$191 million (2013)|
Big W (styled as 'BIG W' in its own branding) is a chain of discount department stores in Australia. It is a division of Woolworths Limited. The chain has 179 stores and is the leading Australian department store chain in revenue. Its main competitors are Kmart and Target, both owned by Wesfarmers.
Woolworths Limited's original Woolworths variety stores carried a range of general merchandise. An increasing percentage of later stores opened sold supermarket grocery lines, which eventually became the company's focus. In the 1960s the company created Big W variety stores to complement the Woolworths supermarkets and, ultimately, replace the extensive variety store network.
The first Big W stand-alone store opened in 1976 in Tamworth . A further 13 stores were opened within two years. The separation of Big W and Woolworths supermarkets was largely completed by 1989, although a few Woolworths variety stores operated into the 1990s (such as the one in Rundle Mall, Adelaide).
In October 2007, Woolworths announced a $1 billion makeover of Big W, including a new store format, logo and slogan. The first store with the new format is located in the Rouse Hill Town Centre in New South Wales, which opened on 6 March 2008, followed by the Top Ryde and Geelong stores. The new logo started appearing in advertising, on store dockets and on a new Big W Web site on 24 October 2007. The former tagline "We sell for less" was replaced with "Live big for less", which is run alongside "Get it for less".
Since 2009, Australian fashion designer Peter Morrissey has designed affordable clothes for Big W. The move came a year after rival chain Target launched a range by UK designer Stella McCartney. Morrissey has a range of men's and women's apparel lines with an emphasis on quality and trend.
In 2013, there were 179 Big W stores trading across Australia: 62 in New South Wales, 42 in Queensland, 35 in Victoria, 16 in Western Australia, 15 in South Australia, five in the Australian Capital Territory, three in Tasmania and one trading in the Northern Territory.
Most Big W stores are located in suburban and regional locations. In recent years three stores have been opened in central business districts: at MacArthur Central in Brisbane, QV in Melbourne, and the Canberra Centre in City Centre, Canberra.
Townsville's third store at Castletown opened October 2010 and a fourth store is planned for stage two of Fairfield Waters.
In 2007, Big W began trialling the provision of optometry services in South Australia and since then, these services have been added to selected stores in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Big W pioneered the Australian use of self-serve checkouts, which were introduced in 2003 on a trial basis in two of Sydney's major stores and began expanding throughout Australia in late 2005.
In September 2013, Big W launched its first e-book service with a dedicated website home to around 300,000 titles. Big W has guaranteed to sell e-books at the lowest prices, and has hundreds of titles every month priced at 99 cents and some offered free of charge.
Big W has several major sales annually, most coinciding with sales held by Kmart and Target. The largest is the July toy sale, which is promoted as the Giant Toy Spectacular. Some stores trade from 12 midnight on sale's launch day. During the toy sale period, Big W offers a no-deposit Christmas lay-by service. The July toy sale is a key indicator to business and retail performance measurements for the new financial year.
In August 2012, Big W launched a new campaign and slogan "Everyone's a Winner", based on the Hot Chocolate song, and catchphrase "Cha-ching" (mimicking the sound of an obsolete mechanical cash register). The campaign included the phrase "Everyone's a Winner with Australia's Lowest Prices". Big W's vision is to be Australasia's leading multi-option discretionary retailer.
Big W appointed Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet as the star of its advertising in April 2013. The actor features in most promotional activities including television commercials, which are filmed at the flagship store in Western Sydney.
- Sales report. "Full Year Results - Financial Year 2013". Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- "First Big W Discount Department Store opens".
- "Big W Case Study - Streamline Catalogue Production".
- "Australia's Woolworths Meets Store Service Strategy with Retalix StoreLine". Internet Retailer. Retrieved 14 October 2007.
- Woolies plans to put big back in Big W. Australian Financial Review. 22 October 2007. p. 14
- Big W recruits fashion designer Peter Morrissey
- "BIG W Store Locator".
- Robina Town Centre Website - About Us
- Big W Vision - Optical Locations
- E-books the perfect cover story for raunchy reads as women lead the charge from print to digital
- "Full Year Profit Presentation".
- "Eric Stonestreet BIG W's first ambassador for Australia's lowest prices".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Big W.|
- Video clips