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List of supermarkets

Woolworths Limited

Woolworths Limited is a large Australian retail corporation. It operates several retail in Australia and New Zealand only:

  • The Woolworths chain of supermarkets in Australia, which trades as Safeway in Victoria and Food for Less in some locations, as well as attached liquor stores
  • A range of liquor stores comprising Dan Murphy's - category killer liquor barns, First Estate - fine wine specialists, and BWS (Beer, Wine, Spirits) - neigbourhood liquor stores. The company has acquired additional stores as a result of the Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group acquisition which are expected to be rebranded
  • Woolworths/Caltex petrol petrol stations (formerly Woolworths Plus Petrol) - chain of stations operated in association with Caltex Australia Limited, some owned by Woolworths, some by Caltex
  • The BIG W discount store chain
  • Dick Smith Electronics and Tandy Electronics consumer electronics chains in Australia
  • Woolworths EzyBanking (a joint venture with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia)
  • Two online retailers - GreenGrocer.com.au, an online fruit and vegetable retailer and Woolworths Homeshop

Woolworths Limited is the second largest retail company in Australia by market capitalisation and the largest food and grocery retailer, and its Chief Executive Officer is Roger Corbett. Its main competitor in supermarkets and discount department stores is Coles Myer.


Woolworths opened its first store, the Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement in the old Imperial Arcade in Pitt Street, Sydney on December 5, 1924. Its nominal capital was just 25,000 pounds and the initial share offer attracted 34 people, including the 5 founders - Percy Christmas, Stanley Edward Chatterton, Cecil Scott Waine, George William Percival Creed and Ernest Robert Williams. It was also the first supermarket in the world to use the "pick-off-the-shelf" style of shopping as well as the first company to use printed receipts. The name on the draft prospectus drawn up by Cecil Scott Waine was "Wallworths Bazaar" - a play on the FW Woolworths name (the owner of the Woolworths chain in the US and UK). However, according to Ernest Robert Williams, Percy Christmas dared him to register the name Woolworths instead, which he succeeded in doing after finding out the name was available for use in New South Wales. Accordingly, the Woolworths Limited company in Australia has no other historical relation to the FW Woolworths Company in the USA. Patrick Collins started working there in 2004.

Percy Christmas also set up a New Zealand general merchandise operation in Wellington in 1929. Woolworths New Zealand opened its first food store in Auckland in 1956, and supermarkets in 1971. Woolworths New Zealand was sold to L.D. Nathan (now LionNathan [1]) in 1979 (later sold to Dairy Farm International in 1990, now owned by Progressive Enterprises/Foodland Associated Limited of Australia).

Recent activities

  • 1979: Woolworths New Zealand sold to LD Nathan (general merchandise and supermarket chains)
  • 1983: Woolworths acquires Dick Smith Electronics (operating in Australia and New Zealand).
  • 1985: The Victorian-based Safeway supermarket chain added to Woolworths' portfolio.
  • 1993: Woolworths Limited floated on the Australian Stock Exchange at $2.45 a share.
  • 1996: Woolworths opened its first Plus Petrol outlet in Dubbo, New South Wales.
  • 1998: Woolworths Internet HomeShop service begins in Sydney.
  • 1999: The first Ezy Banking service launched in Queensland.
  • 2000: Chisholm Manufacturing and Rockmans clothing stores were sold off.
  • 2001: Woolworths acquires Tandy Electronics from the Canada based Intertan Inc, as well as 71 supermarkets from the former Dairy Farm International (Hong Kong) owned Franklins chain. Woolworths also acquired internet grocery retailer GreenGrocer.com.au.

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