Since starting out nearly a century ago, Woolworths has changed the face of Australian retailing. Beginning as a single basement store in Sydney, Woolworths now has a shopping centre in almost every metropolitan and regional centre of Australia. Every day, we offer fresh, superior quality fresh food to millions of our customers nationwide.
Our supermarkets are part of the wider Woolworths Limited Group - which is the second largest private employer in Australia, and we have more than 320,000 shareholders.
Just how did Woolworths become such an Australian household name? Take a look at these key milestones in our history:
In December 1924, Woolworths' first ever store - the Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement, opened in the old Imperial Arcade in Pitt Street, Sydney.
1930s & 1940s
Woolworths grew rapidly, and had soon acquired a chain of stores: 31 in Australia and 9 in New Zealand. Throughout the Depression, Woolworths looked after Australians by continuing to grow with new stores and employ local workers. Woolworths also encouraged manufacturers to continue to develop their production facilities - leading to an increase in the amount of Australian-made goods sold through Woolworths stores. Twenty five new Woolworths stores opened in the first months of World War II.
1960s & 1970s
During this time we pioneered the supply of a wide range of low price, quality merchandise to rural Australia - especially to remote areas such as Alice Springs and Darwin. Diversification into fresh food led to the opening of Woolworths' first Food Fair Store, and soon became one of Australia's biggest retailers of fresh fruit and vegetables.
During the 1980s, Woolworths became established as the "Fresh Food People" - with a commitment to delivering quality fresh food to their customers. In 1985, Woolworths acquired Australian Safeway. Woolworths had now become the market leader in grocery sales, serving up to 10 million customers per week. In just two years, profit rose from $8 million to an incredible $136 million.
In 1993, the $2,450 million Woolworths' share float was the biggest in Australia's history. The 1,000 million shares on offer were quickly snapped up by more than 33,000 investors, many of them everyday Australians - including 19,000 Woolworths' employees.
Today, Woolworths is a household name. We have over 700 supermarkets and serve over 13 million customers Australia-wide, each week.
Everything we do is driven by a commitment to providing customers with the freshest produce, the best prices and the best possible service.
As the "Fresh Food People", the scale and quality of our fresh food offering is unrivalled by other supermarkets, and we have made it our mission to source the very best farmers and growers Australia has to offer. We also continue to offer an extensive range of affordable, everyday grocery items from trusted and well-known brands.
Our staff are passionate about customer service. We strive to help our customers enjoy fresh, healthy food whenever possible by offering expert nutritional advice, useful food handling and safety information, and delicious recipe suggestions.
Woolworths is continually looking toward the future - exploring new and better means of delivering superior quality and everyday convenience. This commitment extends to the community and environment - through our support for various charities and a wide range of initiatives to help achieve a better and more sustainable environment.
To this day, Woolworths remains a down-to-earth, honest Australian Company, dedicated to providing customers with a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience - each and every time.