Big W

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Big W
Industry Retail Department store
Founded 1964
Headquarters Bella Vista, New South Wales, Australia
Number of locations
Key people
- Acting CEO
Revenue Steady A$4.11 billion (2015)[1]
Decrease A$114 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
Parent Woolworths Limited

Big W is an Australian chain of discount department stores, which was founded in regional New South Wales in 1964. The company is a division of Woolworths Limited and currently operates 186 stores, with about 22,000 employees across Australia and Asia.


Woolworths Limited developed the Big W brand to provide Australian shoppers with a broad range of general merchandise products in a dedicated one-stop-shop. The Big W chain grew out of Woolworths Limited's original Variety stores, which carried a small range of general merchandise products. The first Big W stand-alone store opened in 1964 at Tamworth, New South Wales. Big W's name reflects the complementary relationship it has with Woolworths Supermarkets. The separation of Big W and Woolworths supermarkets was largely completed by 1989, although a few Woolworths Variety stores continued to operate into the 1990s. (such as the one in Rundle Mall, Adelaide).


In 2015, there were 186 Big W stores trading across Australia: 63 in New South Wales, 46 in Queensland, 34 in Victoria, 17 in Western Australia, 17 in South Australia, 5 in the Australian Capital Territory, 3 in Tasmania and 1 trading in the Northern Territory.[2] The store is divided into two main departments; the soft goods department (apparel/clothing/shoes/nursery) and the hard goods department (home office/linen/toys/etc.).


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.[3] Big W were the second company in Australia to use 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.[citation needed]

In August 2014, Big W launched its first Party store at Rouse Hill in New South Wales and its second at the newly refurbished Macquarie Centre at North Ryde in New South Wales. There are currently 184 such stores across Australia.[4]

Big W is the leading and largest physical retailer of books and toys in Australia.[citation needed]

Future of Big W[edit]

Speculation regarding the future of Big W rose following losses reported in August 2016 and the resignation of its chief executive in November 2016.[5] [6]

In Financial Year 2016-17, Big W posted a loss of $150.5 million.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sales report. "Full Year Results - Financial Year 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Store Finder". Big W. 
  3. ^ Big W Vision - Optical Locations
  4. ^ "Party Stores". Big W. 
  5. ^ "Big W turnaround in doubt after chief executive's shock departure". Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Analysts split on the future of Big W". Retrieved 12 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Chung, Frank (23 August 2017). "Woolworths reports full-year profit of $1.53 billion". News Ltd. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 

External links[edit]