This week Down Under

Details of new Woolworths concept revealed in court

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock
Woolworths’ plans for its new foodservice concept store have been revealed during a recent legal dispute over retail tenancies.

Early details of the concept first came to attention over a year ago, though little more has been mentioned since then.

But during a New South Wales Supreme Court case against grocer About Life, which has a store adjacent to one owned by Woolworths in Sydney’s Double Bay, more details have been exposed.

The retail major had sought to prevent About Life from transferring a retail lease to larger fresh food competitor Harris Farm.

It argued it was entitled to first refusal of the store space under its leasing arrangement.

Details in the court judgment reveal that the supermarket might use the space to establish a “Woolworths Food Quarter​” concept store there.

Giving evidence, Matthew Franich, Woolworths’ general manager of property, said the supermarket would value the opportunity to set up “its own smaller innovative retail offering such as a Woolworths Food Quarter​”.

It could be a space combining click-and-collect with higher-end liquor, and fresh food possibly featuring some of the elements outlined in last year’s reports of the format.

These could include a sushi kiosk, mini bakery and rotating food trends such as tacos, burritos, Asian-style noodle bowls, pizza and sub rolls in a “street food-centric​” concept.

More from Down Under…

Chip shops losing out as consumers hunt healthier alternatives

Fish and chip shops might be part of a dying tradition as Australians embrace healthy eating.

Chippy

According to a report by IBISWorld, old-time chip shops have been unable to shake off the perception that they are unhealthy, despite attempts by some outlets to dispel this reputation by offering healthier foods and changing frying methods.

“Traditional fish and chip shops offer consumers a high-fat menu, rich in salt and sugar,” said Bao Vuong, an IBISWorld analyst.

Therefore, the shift towards healthier eating habits has negatively affected industry operators, with revenue expected to have fallen at an annualised 0.9% over the five years through 2017-18, to A$655.8m [US$519m]​.” 

If they are to reverse consumer opinion, Vuong recommends fish and chip shop owners embrace the healthy eating trend and consider using air fryers. 

To better compete with healthier fast food operators like sandwich shops, fish and chip shops will have to do more to inform consumers that enjoying fish and chips doesn’t necessarily have to be a guilty pleasure​. 

Alternative fryers can produce meals that are significantly healthier than the traditional deep-fried fare​,” Vuong added. 

Mars Australia voted top for employees

Mars is the best big company to work at in Australia, according to the 2017 Great Place to Work rankings, which also feature Campbell Arnott’s in fourth place.

Mars

Mars Australia, whose brands include M&Ms, Skittles, Masterfoods, Dolmio, Royal Canin and Pedigree, was recognised for its employee perks, which include massages, snacks, fitness centres, boot camps and pet facilities, to lead the 1,000-plus employee category.

We have never made our ambition to be one of the best workplaces in Australia a secret​,” said Mars Petcare general manager, Barry O’Sullivan. 

Best places to work in Australia, over 1,000 employees 2017 

1. Mars Australia

2. Mecca Brands

3. Hilton

4. Campbell Arnott’s

5. Marriott Hotels & Resorts Australia

The Great Place to Work rankings are published annually by global research and consulting form Great Place to Work. 

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