Roelf Vos

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Roelf Vos
Nationality Australian

Roelf Vos (1921–1992) was a wealthy Tasmanian businessman who, amongst other achievements, established a supermarket chain carrying his name initially in Launceston, but later expanded throughout the whole of northern Tasmania. The equivalent in the south of the state was Purity Supermarkets.

Born and raised in the Netherlands, he was involved in the resistance during the second world war. He emigrated with his wife and children to Australia in 1951 [1] where Vos initially purchased a corner milk bar and store in Launceston, Tasmania. From this humble beginning he went on to introduce self-service shopping to northern Tasmania, and the business grew into a chain of ten supermarkets, employing over 500 people.

In 1982 the supermarket operations were sold to Woolworths. The Vos family retained ownership of the properties, including two shopping centres in the north and north west of Tasmania. Although they retained the Roelf Vos branding for some time, they were eventually rebranded as Woolworths in the early 2000s.

At the time of the final loss of the Roelf Vos name, the stores in Launceston included a CBD store (Wellington Street), as well as Newstead, Kings Meadows, Prospect Vale, Riverside and Newnham. The CBD Wellington Street and Newstead stores are now Coles supermarkets, and the Newnham store has closed and is now a City Mission charity store. Woolworths is currently looking for another store location in the Launceston CBD to include a Big W outlet.

Roelf Vos supermarkets were colloquially referred to as Vossie's in Tasmania.

See also[edit]