Big W


Woolworths chairman, Gordon Cairns acknowledged the disappointing performance of Big W and the sudden resignation of CEO, Sally Macdonald, at the company’s annual general meeting last week. However, he did not outline the next steps for the failing discount chain.

“The Board is disappointed with the performance of Big W, and while acknowledging that the discount department store market in Australia is a challenging one right now, wants to reassure all shareholders that we are focused on making decisions for Big W that will enhance shareholder value in the long term,” Cairns said.

Cairns went on to address the sale of Home Timer and Hardware to Metcash and the agreement with Home Consortium to repurpose most of the former Masters sites into new multi-tenanted large-format retail centres.

“In January we announced our exit from the home improvement business. This has been a complex process, and at all stages we sought to act cooperatively with Lowe’s to find a commercial solution. I want to also stress that, in one of the largest deployments undertaken in Australia, we have sought to provide ongoing employment within the Woolworths Group for all Masters’ team members who wish to stay with the Group. Over 3,600 people have elected to participate in this redeployment process,” he explained.

“While the financial results are disappointing, I want to reiterate this has been a year of significant progress on our transformation journey. There is much to do, and we remain determined,” he concluded.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci further commented, “We continue to be focused on what is best for the long-term success of Big W. You will know that in our Q1 results, we noted that Big W was at the start of a multi-year turnaround, and we will continue to refine and build on that transformation agenda.”

This story originally appeared on Appliance Retailer.


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