The paper “ Woolworths Restructuring in the Digital Age” is a persuasive example of a case study on the business. Over recent years, the momentum of sales among most retail stores has fallen. Although contributions to these could be as a result of turbulent economic times and general consumer apathy, it is undeniable that shopping malls are no longer filled with massive crowds as before. Indeed, increasing evidence has shown that there has been a slow but steady shift from shopping in retail stores to preference in shopping online (Baines et al. , 2010, p. 77).
This report focuses on Woolworths Limited, a major retail company, and notes on the company its progress, the extent of its integration of online shopping in its operations and recommendations on how it can improve its effectiveness by using IT. Woolworths Limited is the largest retail company in New Zealand and Australia by sales and market gains. This retail chain has operations ranging from liquor stores, operates supermarkets, consumer electronics, petrol stations, and general and hardware merchandising stores across New Zealand and Australia (Rebecca, 2012, p. 17). The fact that Woolworths has employed way over 190,000 people makes it one of the largest employers in the private sector across Australia.
The enormous physical presence and the extensive marketing of its retail store have seen the company become very popular in this region. Woolworths began its operations in the year 1924. The company by then was highly innovative, being the pioneer store in the world to print customers’ receipts using cash registers. The retail store began with a food store, further expanding to incorporate a chain of supermarkets. In the years following the early 1990s, Woolworths invested heavily in making acquisitions, with the acquisition of 125 Safeway stores that made it the largest Australian food retailer.
Woolworths also engaged in numerous partnerships. Key among them involved a partnership with the petroleum company Caltex, whereby the company would rebrand the Caltex petrol stations as Caltex Woolworths, and would essentially be involved in the supply of groceries in these petrol stations. Recently, in 2009, the Company further announced a joint venture with a home improvement chain company that oversaw the opening one of the stores, Masters, in 2011 (Humphrey, 2011, p. 136).
The joint venture was made with the aim of opening one hundred and fifty stores within the next five years, that is, by 2016. As of 2013, the company had managed to open 29 operational stores following the partnership(Robb, 2013, p. 56). The shopping experience at Woolworths is incredible. Through the company’ s multi-option retailing concept, consumers get a rare chance to choose from a wide range of high quality as well as fairly priced goods and groceries (McFall, 2010, 69). The Company has for the past two years managed to improve the customer shopping experience by offering discounts on up to one-third of the items sold through their stores.
These price cuts, coupled with the wide variety of choices in their supermarket have made the Woolworths retail store very popular among shoppers across Australia. Moreover, the company has made concerted efforts in promoting its fruits and vegetable product through innovative strategies such as a partnership with the Warner Bros Company so as to make children fruit packages more attractive to the children through the use of looney Tunes characters on their products.
Through producing pre-washed and freshened and ready to roast, bake or steam vegetables, the Woolworths Company won the Product of the year award.