Big W on road to recovery.
Strong sales in its Australian Food and Endeavour Drinks divisions led to a 12.5% rise in net profit for the Woolworths Group for the year ended 24 June 2018. The Big W turnaround is building momentum and the Group expects a further reduction in losses in FY19.
Big W reported a loss in earnings of $30 million down from $72 million in FY17. Sales inched up 0.7% to $3.6 billion with comparable sales increasing by 0.9% – the first year of positive comparable sales growth since FY09.
The growth was attributed to lower prices, improved product ranges, changes to store experience and an evolving digital offer.
By the end of FY18, Big W had dropped prices on over 4,500 items, completed a refresh of 165 stores and increased for customers with pick up available in all stores.
Average weekly visits to bigw.com.au were up 25% on FY17. Free same day pick up was launched across all stores, customer shopping tools were implemented (including in-store store check), delivery network was expanded and more payment options were introduced, including AfterPay.
“FY18 was a year of stabilisation for Big W with progress made on the turnaround plan, but there is still a long way to go,” Woolworths said in a statement. “Big W has started the journey to being a purpose-led organisation and the team and customers continue to be the primary focus. For the year ahead, Big W will continue to invest in price to regain customer trust, reset ranges in-store, improve the convenience of the in-store and digital experience and improve stock availability.”
Big W opened one new store and closed three stores this year, ending FY18 at 183 stores.