|Headquarters||Bella Vista, New South Wales, Australia|
|Number of locations||872 |
|Key people||Grant O'Brien, CEO, Tjeerd Jegen, Director - Australian Supermarkets and Petrol|
|Revenue||A$54.3 billion (2011)|
Woolworths is the largest supermarket/grocery store chain in Australia, owned by Woolworths Limited. Along with Coles, Woolworths form a duopoly of Australian supermarkets, together accounting for about 80% of the Australian market.
Woolworths Limited was founded in September of 1924, originally under the name "Wallworths Bazzaar Ltd", a play on the internationally renown F. W. Woolworth name. After discovering the name had not been registered in Australia, and Woolworths had no plans for overseas expansion, the company became "Woolworths Limited" on September 22, 1924. Following the company's first "Bargain Basement" opening on Sydney's Pitt Street, there was little interest in shareholders to accelerate the brands growth. However, as trading continued and shareholders brought more capital, the dividends paid by the company increased from 5% to 50% after its third year of operation.
Consumer interest in the company grew sufficiently after December of 1924, as more branches of the store were established across Australia. Woolworths stores began selling a variety of goods, claiming the cheapest prices as well as money back guarantees. At the forefront of innovation in Australia, Woolworths stores became the first variety store in the world to install receipt printing cash register machines in 1926. Nearly twenty years after the company's establishment, Woolworths had a store in every state in Australia, following the opening of their Hobart store in 1940. With the company and its stores doing successfully, Woolworths began to experiment with expanding their grocery range; more stores began stocking fresh fruits and vegetables and a larger range of food. As Woolworths began to gradually transition to becoming exclusively a grocery store, this saw the creation of the first "Big W" store in 1955, the brand's department store counterpart.
In 1982, Woolworths acquired two Tasmanian grocery brands: Roelf Vos and Purity. The biggest buyout from Woolworths came in 1985, after American supermarket giant "Safeway" had amalgamated with an independently owned Victorian supermarket in 1961; establishing the Safeway brand in Australia. Woolworths took over Safeway Australia in 1985, which had stores in Victoria and Queensland, the Woolworths name was affixed to the Queensland stores with the Victorian stores remaining as Safeway, with their identity newly stylised to match the Woolworths brand. Following the rebranding in 2008, Woolworths began phasing out their Victorian Safeway stores; rebranding them as Woolworths supermarkets.
"Fresh Food People"
In 1986, Woolworths launched their "Fresh Food People" campaign, the fundamental campaign that still exists in Woolworths stores today. As the stores progressed as the market leader for the countries supermarkets, Woolworths created their own store exclusive brands. "Homebrand" became the stores generic brand, which provided customers with essential items at lower prices. Homebrand was later accompanied by "Select", a higher quality selection of products and "Macro", an organic range that offers gluten free and free range products.
On 22 August 2008, Woolworths announced it was launching a new identity for all its supermarkets and plans to replace the Safeway brand in Victoria, in order to unite all of its supermarkets under one common brand 'Woolworths'.
The logo, which had been in use for 21 years, was replaced with a new brand image, designed by Hans Hulsbosch with a new green tinted icon representing the 'W' in Woolworths with the addition of a stylised leaf to suggest fresh produce. It is also reminiscent of a 1970s Woolworths logo. However, the company's slogan, "The Fresh Food People", which is known throughout Australia, remains as a key part of the new logo. The company introduced these changes in order to further distance itself from its major rival Coles Supermarkets, and to make its branding more modern, 'softer' and more likeable.
In October 2009, it was reported that Apple Inc. had lodged an objection to Woolworths' trademark application with the Australian Government's intellectual property agency IP Australia, claiming that the logo resembles its own. The reports said that Apple was concerned that Woolworths had applied for a blanket trademark for the design, so it could be placed on any product – even on electrical goods like computers and music players. Woolworths was not selling its own brand electrical goods then, but a spokeswoman for the company said that, "While we can't rule anything out, we haven't got any plans at the moment." Woolworths' rebranding program in its 802 Australian stores had been in progress barely over a year. Apple withdrew its objection in April 2011 after Woolworths deleted various goods from the application, including "apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images".
In June 2012, Woolworths began another multi-million dollar strategy to improve the supermarket's image and gain back lost market share. The iconic slogan was changed from "The Fresh food People", after 25 years, to "Australia's Fresh Food People" to emphasise the company's iconic history in Australia. Alongside the new slogan came a new advertising campaign and proposed improvements to existing supermarkets that will allow customers to see "behind the scenes" in the deli and bakery departments.
Discount fuel offers
Since 1996 Woolworths has offered its customers a number of incentives for purchasing at their stores by subsidising petrol prices at Caltex Woolworths petrol stations and the now defunct Woolworths Plus Petrol. Discounts included 2-cent, 4-cent, 6-cent and in some regional areas 10-cent discounts on fuel when purchases over certain amounts were conducted. As of September 2009, the current offer is a 4 cent/L discount when transactions of over $30 are conducted in-store, with a further 4 cent discount available if customers spend another $5 or more on other items at the petrol site.
Everyday rewards and credit card
In September 2007, a trial began in central west New South Wales of Everyday Rewards, a Woolworths shopping card that automatically tracks supermarket purchases and stores fuel discount entitlements, thus eliminating the need for shoppers to retain paper coupons previously used for this purpose. In addition it allows Woolworths to record purchases made by customers to offer them relevant promotions and for studies in demographics and marketing, hence incentives for customers who register their details. This followed Woolworths announcement that it was planning to launch a general purpose credit card in 2008. Woolworths is expected to offer these credit cardholders reward vouchers redeemable throughout its store network. Woolworths subsequently announced that the Woolworths Everyday Money MasterCard would be launched on 26 August 2008 and allows customers to earn shopping cards redeemable at Woolworths group retailers.
In February 2008, Woolworths announced that following the NSW trial, its Everyday Rewards card would be rolled out nationally, beginning with South Australia and Northern Territory in mid-February, and to other states (excluding Tasmania) by the end of May 2008. During the NSW trial, 50,000 cards were issued to customers.
Woolworths stated in June 2008 that "well over a million" shoppers had taken a card and registered their details. In August 2008, Woolworths stated that there were 3.8 million cards "on issue", with 2.4 million cards "registered".
From June 2009, Everyday Rewards cardholders were able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points, by using their Everyday Rewards cards. Cardholders who had successfully linked their Frequent Flyer card to their registered Everyday Rewards card can earn one Frequent Flyer point for every dollar over $30 that they spent in store. In August 2009, Woolworths announced that there were 3.8 million cards "registered", of which 1.2 million were linked to a Qantas Frequent Flyer account.
Frequent Shopper Club
The program offers a $20 voucher for every 2000 points accrued. The program offers no online access or signup.
Private label brands
Woolworths has four levels of generic or private label brands:
- Woolworths Homebrand
A budget label covering everyday household products and groceries. Easily recognizable due to its plain white and red accented packaging.
- Woolworths Select
A premium brand with a range of products including food such as shampoo, dog food and potato chips. All products come quality assured. 
- Woolworths Fresh
A range of products tested against strict criteria and are endorsed and approved by Woolworths experts. This range includes products under the names of Emily's Kitchen, Fresh Soups and Yummy Meals. 
- Macro Wholefoods Market
A range of products for families with specific requirements such as gluten free diets, vegetarian foods and organic foods. Salt, sugar and fat levels have been decreased in this range. This range also provides products that are Certified Organic which supports biodiversity and nurtures the land. 
Other Woolworths Limited supermarkets
- Woolworths still trades as Safeway in many locations in Victoria, and some towns on the Victorian border (e.g. Moama, NSW). From 2008, Safeway branded stores have been progressively branded as Woolworths.
- In Tasmania, Woolworths traded as Roelf Vos and Purity prior to being rebranded as Woolworths in 2000
- In New Zealand, Woolworths trades as Countdown. It also operated supermarket brands Foodtown and Woolworths until November 2011, which were rebranded as Countdown.
- Food For Less is a discount supermarket chain located in Queensland and New South Wales
- Flemings is a group of four supermarkets located in Sydney and the Central Coast
- Woolworths launched Thomas Dux Grocer in two New South Wales locations in 2008. Thomas Dux Grocer stores have a larger fresh food offering than traditional Woolworths stores, along with a larger delicatessen section.
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- McGregor, Ken (March 27, 2012). "Senator Nick Xenophon moves to smash Coles and Woolworths duopoly". The Advertiser. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- Greenblat, Eli (July 16, 2013). "Lion boss adjusts to supermarket duopoly". The Age. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
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- Fuel change on the cards, Australian Financial Review, 6 September 2007, p. 20
- "Everyday Rewards Customer Charter". Woolworths Everyday Rewards. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
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- "Fuel's gold as a million people play cards with Woolworths". Sydney Morning Herald. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
- "Full Year Results Presentation" (PDF). Woolworths Limited. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
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- "Woolworths Select". Woolworths Supermarkets. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
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