It's been a punishing few years for Woolworths, and some may question if the retailer has what it takes to claw its way back into public favour and shareholder profitability. Paul Nelson from Brand Matters talks about at how the brand might bounce back.
Yesterday was another big day in the headlines for our second biggest brand. Yesterday I was interviewed by Channel 7 news about Woolworths’ decisions to cut 500 people and close about 30 stores. Woolworths announced one of the most significant restructures in its history, with major media outlets reporting the loss of 500 jobs, closure of 30 stores and $1 billion in restructuring costs. Social media reacted with predictable disdain, attracting many comments similar to this one: “Hi Woolies….I just read you are going to axe 500 jobs because your company is going down the pan. Why don’t you guys try something different….and HIRE more staff. Cutting staff hasn’t worked in the past, so do the opposite!!”
It has been a punishing few years for what was once the most valuable brand in Australia. A long chain of events have contributed to its decline, including the rise of Aldi, unsuccessful attempts at pricing-led strategies, such as the much maligned ‘Cheap Cheap’ campaign, corporate distraction by the troubled Masters brand and highly unpopular changes to its rewards program.