Woolworths Holdings Limited

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UK: Woolworths Unveils First Menswear Line just-style.com | 23 Jul 03

Discount high street chain Woolworths will launch its first menswear collection in the UK on Friday as it looks to cash in on the growing trend for value-priced fashions.

AUSTRALIA: Woolworths To Open A$90m Distribution Centre just-style.com | 22 Jul 03

Australian retail chain Woolworths Ltd on Tuesday unveiled plans to build a new A$90 million regional distribution centre in Victoria.

SOUTH AFRICA: Woolworths Extends Merchandise Planning just-style.com | 28 Feb 03

South African retailer Woolworths is to expand its use of the i2 Retail supply chain management solution as part of its strategy to improve both efficiency of operations and customer service.

SOUTH AFRICA: Woolworths, Truworths Enjoy Strong H1 Sales just-style.com | 8 Jan 03

South African clothing chains Woolworths and Truworths on Tuesday both reported sharp rises in their six month sales results. Woolworths reported a 20 per cent year-on-year jump and Truworths a 23.3 per cent increase in sales from the year-ago period.

AUSTRALIA: Country Road Enjoys Smooth H1 Ride just-style.com | 7 Jan 03

Australian fashion chain Country Road Ltd on Tuesday reported a 3.3 per cent year-on-year climb in first half same-store sales.

UK: Weather Ruffles Peacock Feathers, Sees FY Growth just-style.com | 6 Nov 02

Discount clothing retailer The Peacock Group Plc on Wednesday posted a steep plunge in first half profit but said current trading was brisk and it expects to enjoy full-year sales and profit growth. The Cardiff-based operator of 350 stores said unseasonal weather and costs associated with its recent acquisition of apparel chain Bon Marche helped push its six-month profit down 31 per cent to £4 million.

UK: Peacock Expects To Meet FY Target just-style.com | 18 Sep 02

Discount clothing retailer Peacock Group Plc on Wednesday revealed a 3.9 per cent slide in like-for-like sales in the current fiscal year but said it is still confident of meeting market forecasts.

SOUTH AFRICA: Woolworths' Clothing Sales Up 17.7 Per Cent just-style.com | 10 Jul 02

Sales at clothing and grocery retailer Woolworths rose 22.8 per cent for the year to June, with clothing sales up 17.7 per cent against the previous year and 12.2 per cent ahead on a comparable store basis. The group said yesterday that the results reflected the success of its policy to convert some of its smaller corporate stores to franchise stores. They also confirmed that the retailer was "starting to provide beautiful modern and classic clothing at exceptional value on a more consistent basis".

UK: Peacock In Bon Marche Talks, Dismisses Woolworths Rumours just-style.com | 17 Jun 02

Discount clothing group Peacock on Monday said it is holding talks over a possible takeover of unlisted womenswear chain Bon Marche but dismissed speculation it is in merger talks with Woolworths.

The Cardiff-based company, which operates around 350 stores, said in a statement that any acquisition would be funded through bank debt and shares to be retained by the vendors.

UK: Peacock Enjoys 28 Per Cent Profits Jump just-style.com | 22 May 02

Discount fashion chain The Peacock Group on Wednesday revealed a 28 per cent year-on-year jump in full-year pre-tax profits to £16.4 million on the back of a 15 per cent jump in sales to £270m. The group said like-for-like sales rose 3.5 per cent over the year and its results were boosted by the opening of 34 new Peacocks stores as well as its wholesaling deal with Woolworths and Big W chain to 2005. However, there was a one-time charge of £400,000.

SOUTH AFRICA: Woolworths' Earnings Rise 32 Per Cent just-style.com | 22 Feb 02

Textile sales lagged behind food sales in the second half at South African retailer Woolworths Holdings. The food and clothing chain reported half-year headline earnings on continuing operations up 32 per cent.

SOUTH AFRICA: Country Road Slashes Australian Workforce just-style.com | 13 Feb 02

Leading South African clothing retailer Woolworths Holdings said on Wednesday its Australian subsidiary Country Road has axed dozens of jobs – just weeks after quitting the US market. "The redundancies were made across all levels and divisions of the Country Road's Head Office, and represent a 15 per cent reduction (42 employees) in the number of head office staff," the group said in a statement.

AUSTRALIA: Surf Wear Firm Rip Curl Appoints New Chairman just-style.com | 17 Dec 01

Leading Australian surf wear designer and manufacturer, Rip Curl, announced on Monday it has appointed former Qantas Airways chief executive James Strong as its new chairman. Rip Curl co-founders, Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick, said Mr Strong would add business and international sporting administrative expertise to the firm as it moves into the next phase of its development.

USA: Chief Executive To Leave Country Road just-style.com | 21 Nov 01

Mr Michael Warner, chief executive of Country Road's USA operation, is to leave the business with effect from 21 November 2001. South African retailer Woolworths Holdings said in an announcement on 25 October that its Australian subsidiary Country Road was reviewing its US operations from "a strategic perspective" in the wake of September 11.

The Philippines: value-added sourcing just-style.com | 19 Oct 01

The Philippines is one of the world's top 20 apparel exporters. But without the advantages of low labour, quota-free access to the US and EU, or even an indigenous raw textile industry, its manufacturers are instead focusing on value added relationships with customers. Niki Tait paid a visit to PROfil, an initiative that aims to project the Philippines as a one-stop sourcing centre, to find out about the country's apparel export industry.

AUSTRALIA: Woolworths Results Set To Match Forecasts just-style.com | 26 Sep 01

Woolworths Ltd chief executive Roger Corbett revealed on Wednesday that the retailer's performance in the first quarter of 2001-02 would be in line with analysts' forecasts. The company reported a climb in sales for the fiscal first quarter ended October 1, 2000, of 9.6 per cent to A$5.29 billion.

AUSTRALIA: Woolworths Could Move In On Target, Kmart just-style.com | 3 Sep 01

Roger Corbett, chief executive of Woolworths, Australia's biggest grocery chain, says he would be interested in making an offer for Coles Myer's Target and Kmart department store chains should the retail conglomerate be broken up. Sagging sales and poor profits have prompted speculation that Coles Myer will get rid of some of its assets, although the company denies that disaggregation is on the cards.

AUSTRALIA: US, Discounting Put Country Road $7.7m In Red just-style.com | 17 Aug 01

Australian retailer Country Road transformed a 1999-2000 profit of $A3.35m into a $A7.74m loss in 2000-2001. The South African-controlled up-market clothing retailer was mauled by under-performance in its stores throughout the US and tough trading conditions in its home market.

AUSTRALIA: Country Road Director Quits just-style.com | 17 Jul 01

Ron Baker, director of troubled Australian fashion retailer Country Road, has resigned from his post, the company said in a press release. The decision is effective immediately.

AUSTRALIA: Country Road In The Red just-style.com | 12 Jul 01

Australian apparel retailer, Country Road, announced that this financial year could see losses reaching as high as A$8m. This followed warnings made in April 2001 that the year loss would be between A$3m-5m. Country Road said that improved sales in Australia were undermined by losses in its US business, in line with a fall in general US market conditions.

'Big Five' UK catalogue companies wise up to retail changes just-style.com | 2 May 01

The 'Big Five' home shopping catalogue operators have acted like rabbits in the headlights, according to a report by retail analysts Verdict Research. But they have to accept that the retail world is changing - discounters are attacking their patch and freely available credit is attracting their traditional audience. This report, taken from Verdict's Home Shopping, takes a close look at the world of catalogue shopping.

UK: Kingfisher Exec Flies Nest For M&S, Menswear Chief Leaves just-style.com | 27 Apr 01

A third Kingfisher executive is leaving the nest to join former colleagues at embattled M&S a report in the Daily Telegraph said today. And Nigel Whinnett, head of menswear, is quitting the company after a period of extended leave. Barry Stevenson, former managing director of B&Q Supercentres, is to take over the retail directorship from Richard Woolf, an M&S veteran who is going to Harvard University for a “management development” course before returning to the company.

UK: Woolworths Signs Up Flowerpot Men For Children's Wear just-style.com | 26 Feb 01

Woolworths is to take a step back in time as it introduces the services of the 1960's children's TV favourites Bill and Ben the flowerpot men to promote its children's wear lines. The high street retailing chain has signed a licensing deal with the BBC Worldwide to use the characters on its new lines of Ladybird children's clothing, the brand bought by the company in a £12m deal in January this year.

AUSTRALIA: Country Road’s Profits Fall just-style.com | 15 Feb 01

Country Road, a clothing company majority controlled by South Africa's Woolworths Holding, posted a net profit of A$157,000 ($82,583) for the fiscal first half ended December 31, down from a profit of A$1.1m ($578,606) a year earlier. The company said the weaker result partly reflects a slump following the introduction of a 10 per cent goods and services tax in Australia on July 1.

UK: Woolworths Buys Up Ladybird Brand just-style.com | 17 Jan 01

Woolworths is set to benefit from the selling of non-core business at Coats Viyella as it pays out an estimated £10m to take control of the children's apparel brand Ladybird, according to reports in the Guardian. For more than 70 years Woolworths has been clothing children from its high street stores, and now, with the Coats Viyella board breaking up the company in an attempt to please majority shareholder Guinness Peat Group, it will be able to build on its already strong brand image.

SOUTH AFRICA: Clothing Manufacturers Gear Up For Exports just-style.com | 6 Dec 00

  The Cape clothing industry has come through another tough year with its main customer - the South African fashion retailing sector - showing visible signs of strain of lower consumer demand, Cape Business News reported today.   

AUSTRALIA: Woolworths To Push On With Sales just-style.com | 17 Nov 00

Woolworths is not abandoning plans to securitise its $300m portfolio of distribution centres. Earlier this year Woolworths said securitisation was under consideration, and the prospect was raised again at the Property Council's capital markets seminar this week.Later, a Woolworths spokesperson told The Australian that the company's position had not changed, and the corporate treasury department was "always in the market for options on balance sheet management".Qantas and David Jones are the latest companies to successfully securitise assets, and Fosters also recently announced it wanted to securitise its $700m portfolio of licensed hotels.Stephen Girdis, executive director of Macquarie Bank, is predicting the number of companies turning to capital management strategies, including property securitisation, will continue rising. Companies have been slow to unlock property holdings, but it was changing. "The number of companies that have taken capital management steps has jumped from two in 1996 to 94 in 2000," he said.

UK: Peacocks Introduces Price-Cutting Strategy just-style.com | 9 Nov 00

Family retailer, Peacocks, has armed itself with another weapon in the fierce fight to gain supremacy in the fast-growing UK discount clothing market. Peacocks, whose competitors include Matalan and New Look, has cut prices on 70 lines by 10 per cent to further boost sales, creating a festive price war in the lower end of the market. A spokesman for Peacocks said the company had closely monitored what competitors like Matalan were doing and taken the decision to lower prices further. "Peacocks likes to be the best value in the market," the spokesman added. The company looks like it is well on its way to fulfilling its mission to "become the most successful value-for-money clothing retailer in the country, offering great customer service in a friendly, family environment." Peacocks recently announced that total sales were up 21 per cent to £106.9m for the 26 weeks to September 30 and profit before tax was also up to 38 per cent to £4.6m. It also announced that it was on track to open 35 to 40 stores in the current year. Chairman, John Lovering, said in a recent statement: "Peacocks has continued to make strong progress in the first half of the year. We have achieved good organic growth with 13 new stores opened and trading above plan and enter the important second half of the year with trading momentum: like-for-like sales are five per cent ahead for the five weeks to 4 November 2000. "In addition, we have progressed a series of initiatives to build sales through complementary distribution channels. These include our supply agreement with Kingfisher's `Big W' concept and a trial to introduce our clothing and footwear ranges into Woolworths high street stores."

MIDDLE EAST: Peacocks To Spread Its Wings Offshore Jane Mallin | 25 Oct 00

Peacocks, the Cardiff-based value-for-money retailer that floated less than a year ago, is planning to expand overseas. The chain, which opened its 295th store in the UK at the end of September, is reported to be in discussions with a potential partner in the Middle East, with the aim of establishing a franchise. The retailer has identified the Middle East as a potentially strong market for its budget-priced apparel and is thought to be considering establishing a presence in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Peacocks is also said to be thinking about expansion into Eastern Europe.Talks are still at an early stage and a decision could be up to six months away. Richard Kirk, chief executive of Peacocks, was unavailable for comment.Despite the plans, the offshore business is likely to remain a relatively small part of the overall Peacocks operation while the group focuses on the rollout of its stores in Kingfisher's Big W outlets. Peacocks has signed a three-year deal with Kingfisher, the B&Q to Comet retail group that is dividing itself in two, to sell its clothes in Big W stores. Peacocks has already opened stores in five Big Ws. They are trading well and three more are planned in time for Christmas. An additional 20 stores will be opened during 2000 and 2001.Peacocks has also agreed to sell its clothes in Kingfisher's Woolworths stores for a six-month trial. If the tie-up is successful, Peacocks believes that it can more than double its turnover in five years. That would please shareholders, who have seen their shares sink from their 163p float price of last December to 104p. The company - the subject of a management buyout in 1997 - showed signs of suffering from rising competition in discount clothing when it revealed that comparable sales had slipped by two per cent in June and early July.

SCOTLAND: Peacocks Expands Into Scotland Jane Mallin | 10 Oct 00

Peacocks, the Cardiff-based value-for-money retailer, opened its first store in Scotland - and 295th UK store - at the end of last month. The 5,500 sq ft store, located in Leven, will be the first of five planned stores north of the border.Peacocks aim to open a further four stores in Scotland this year. The stores will be located in Kilmarnock, Port Glasgow, Wishaw and Dalkeith and will add a total of 31,600 sq ft to Peacocks selling space and will create 65 new jobs. Commenting on the store openings, Richard Kirk, chief executive of The Peacock Group, said: "The opening of this first store in Scotland is a milestone in the development of the business. Given the success of the Peacocks range within the Big W store in Edinburgh, we are very confident that the Peacocks proposition of good quality clothing, in a pleasant shopping environment at great value-for-money prices, will prove very popular in Scotland.Peacocks, which plans to open more outlets in secondary locations, announced earlier this month that it was to trial its adult clothing and footwear ranges in three new Woolworths stores as well as extending its participation in the Big W stores.


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