Blog: Will Woolworths work?
Leonie Barrie | 26 June 2009
Saddled with an estimated GBP385m (US$594m) worth of debt, jaded stores, rising rents and a business model that sold everything from sweets to electrical goods, garden furniture to clothes but struggled to compete with specialist retailers on either price or range, the demise of Woolworths earlier this year was long overdue.
But whether this outdated concept can be revived by a new way of selling – via the Internet – remains to be seen.
There’s no doubt the combination of the well-known Woolworths name – in particular its popular Ladybird children’s label – and the growth in online sales should make for a compelling story. And without the physical restrictions imposed by its stores, the brand now has the scope to sell a far wider range of items than it could before, including plans to introduce clothing, footwear and sportswear for older kids.
But there are also concerns that Woolworths' traditional customers may not be regular online shoppers, and that in the six months since the retailer’s demise they will have switched their shopping for kids’ wear to the likes of supermarkets Tesco and Asda, H&M, Primark and even Next and M&S.
But if there’s anyone who can make Woolworths and Ladybird work then it must surely be Shop Direct. The retailer is aggressively shifting its business away from its more traditional mail order catalogues and onto the Internet.
The group’s online sales now account for 56% of its total revenues, up from 18% three years ago – and it expects 70% of its GBP1.7bn (US$2.8bn) annual sales will be online by 2010/11.
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Industry groups reaffirm commitment to Bangladesh
- Where does VF supply chain sit in growth strategy?
- Inditex, Adidas and Patagonia top ethical report
- Calls for supply chain transparency standard
- US textile industry applauds Trump executive order
- Gap unveils five-year sustainable fibres pledge
- Pentland Brands reveals Berghaus factory list
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts