Continues to be ‘work in progress’.

Although Woolworths supermarkets are experiencing positive growth, Big W sales declined by 8.6% in the third quarter with comparable sales declining by 8.2%, impacted by apparel clearance activities driving deflation.

“We completed a review of the Big W strategic plan and customer value proposition during the quarter. While this will continue to be refined, we are now in the process of implementing this plan. We are working hard to restore price trust with our customers, the process of which has already begun,” a company statement released to the ASX read.

“David Walker has been appointed to the position of managing director after acting in this role since November. We have also made a number of other senior appointments to bolster the team with the Big W senior leadership team now largely complete,” it continued.

The total number of Big W stores at the end of the quarter remained unchanged at 186.

Woolworths group CEO Brad Banducci said, “We are still in the early stages of our turnaround and are focused on the many opportunities we have to further improve our business for the benefit of our customers, team members, suppliers, community and shareholders.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made on our key priorities with the strong sales growth in Australian Food during the quarter a particular highlight. Big W is a work in progress and its turnaround will be a multi-year journey. Due to the investment we are undertaking as part of our revised plan, we currently expect Big W to report a less before interest and tax of $115 to $135 million for H2 17.”