Woolworths plans store restructure and addition of two new departments

Woolworths will revamp its store operating model for the first time since 2011, to put a greater focus on fresh food, convenience and customer service to suit changing customer needs.

The supermarket briefed team members on Wednesday about the implementation of the store model which will see the creation of two new fresh food departments at stores in the coming months.

Fresh Service will manage customer service at the deli, butchery and seafood counters while Fresh Convenience will cover dairy, eggs, pre-pack meat, branded bread and meal solutions.

“Over the last few years our customers’ needs have changed, but the way we have been operating our stores has stayed the same,” Claire Peters, managing director, Woolworths Supermarkets said.

“With customers’ ongoing expectations in fresh, and more shoppers looking for increased convenience, our stores need to deliver the best possible customer experience, every time.”

Peters said the new model will allow team members to be “more customer focused than ever before”.

Last week at the AFGC’s Food & Grocery conference, Woolworths highlighted the need for better convenience offerings for time-poor customers, as well as new and different choices that are good for health, wellbeing and the planet.

While the number of team members required in the new structure will not change, some current roles will be made redundant. Woolworths said in a statement to Inside Retail that it aims to provide “as many redeployment opportunities as possible”.

Woolworths will invest more than $10 million in team training and development as part of the restructure and will add Assistant Team Manager roles to facilitate better management progression.

The operating model has already been rolled out across a group of stores in New South Wales, with changes to other stores to be phased in over the coming months.

The supermarket recently revealed plans to further reduce promotions and focus on everyday value in stores in an effort to gain better “price trust” among consumers.

Shopper feedback revealed that price is the most important element of customer’s trust and is a key area of focus for the retailer.

This story originally appeared on Inside FMCG.



  1. raksha posted on June 6, 2019

    You may have read that Woolworths have "restructured" in the news. That some jobs "might become redundant" and that the restructuring is "To improve customer satisfaction". The truth? Thousands, upon thousands of dedicated, hard-working store-level managers were kicked in the guts. Redundancies have happened. Many. It's like the Thanos snap of Woolworths jobs. Suddenly half the jobs are gone and no one knows what the hell to do. The rest of the managers are forced to "re-apply" and fight for their own jobs but not at the same pay. Some managers are being forced to lose up to $20,000+ per year. These managers are the ones who get told that they must work unpaid overtime. That they can't take their lunch breaks. That they aren't allowed their day in leiu's. That 10 hour days are the bare minimum. Managers who are illegally forced to take sick days to save wages. That are illegally underpaid. That have illegally been forced to work hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime just to get the chance at a managerial position. Have all been told to fuck off by Woolworths. These hard working employees have mortgages, babies, families, rent, bills, and basic needs to pay and now suddenly they're being thrown onto barely above minimum wage or to quit without severance pay. Many managers are planning to leave. Many cried. Many called in sick. All across Australia today. Many were saying that they feel so foolish they busted their ass for decades just to be tossed aside. The SDA has basically let this happen by allowing a ridiculous and obviously exploitable EBA contract to be voted in. Woolworths took no time in using those exploits. This isn't ok. It isn't right. The news hasn't covered it that much but Woolworths have gone berserk with their greed this year. They're pushing people to injury, mental break downs, depression, anxiety, and quitting entirely. Stores look like shit because there's no one to work stock or face the aisles. Front end staff look miserable because they cut hours and then get abused by angry customers. The recent "restructuring" is an outrageous leap to gut the retail work force and this is only step 1. More cuts are coming, more restructuring, more pressure, more responsibility, more angry customers...but far less pay. Boycott Woolworths this week and message their customer service and tell them why. The exploitation and abuse of Woolworths staff is out of control now. Please stand up to it simply by choosing not to shop there. Tell them why. If you get a Voice of Customer survey, speak your mind. Thank you. copied.... HOW MANY SALARY POSITION IS BEING WIPED OUT???????

  2. Jo posted on June 7, 2019

    Raksha, you are 100% spot on! Well done for having the courage to speak the truth. Greed at its finest under the guise of meeting ‘customer needs‘. Big thumbs down to Woolworths 👎🏻...but at the end of the day, as long as the fat cats get their bonuses-who cares about the workers who bust their guts every day?

  3. Harvey Norman posted on June 8, 2019

    Are These managers who face restructure and possible reduction in entitlements, the same ones who worked to remove penalty rates for weekend and shift workers? If no, then you should take sympathy with your workers. If yes , boo hoo.

  4. Ayezak posted on June 9, 2019

    This is why I have never bothered to step up into a management position (or at least fully committed to one) Putting aside the bad news of thousands of people being tossed to the curb after years of loyalty, we knew this was going to happen eventually. Robotics and automation will be the new labor force and I think cynical people are causing stagnation on the learning curve. I for one think an industry that has been operating the same as it always has like it did 100 years ago can only go so far before it needs to be changed. Besides a small portion of the people their kicking out were actively disengaged in the management duties or just physically present being a manager and neither happy to be one. They didn't care, and now they have something to care about when Woolworth's gives them the can. I am however going to miss the managers i did enjoy working with that had a real good sense of what they were doing. But When you have a small portion of managers that don't do their job accordingly to the policy or follow behavioral guidelines, then every manager (including the good ones) suffer. We're always evolving our way of life, might as well adapt to it.

  5. boe posted on June 15, 2019

    this is exactly how cba (commonwealth bank) and its subsidiaries work too. Drove me and many other staff members away through bullying, depression and anxiety. Things wont change for the better, only for the worse.

  6. Tegan den Ridder posted on June 17, 2019

    This restructure definitely has NOTHING to do with the strive to provide their customers with a better service. Don't be fooled. This is just another way to cut costs again and again. If anything the fresh departments will suffer, losing their dedicated managers for one person to cover 4 jobs. I completely agree with Rashka's comment above, these department managers are already under enormous pressure to work outside of what is considered reasonable hours. 60 - 100 hours a week, paid for 40. Going home after 10 hours is considered an early day. The stress and pressure this is going to put on employees, their spouses and families is unacceptable - but no matter how much noise we make, this will be rolled out with little regard for the peoples lives it will be destroying. The People at the pointy end of this company are nothing but greedy criminals and they are the ones that are going to lose out in the long run.

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