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Woolies Considers Copying Aldi, Chairman Set To Quit

Woolies Considers Copying Aldi, Chairman Set To Quit

ChannelNews was told that the concept of introducing Big W branded merchandise bins into Woolworth’s stores was discussed at a recent Woolworth’s management meeting. 

Later today Woolworths is tipped to announce that their current Chairman Ralph Waters is stepping down ahead of time as the group which includes both the struggling Masters and BigW looks for ways to boost sales. 

 The Company is also looking for a new chief executive to replace outgoing CEO Grant O’Brien.

Fairfax Media said that Mr. Waters is expected to be replaced by Origin Energy chairman and former Lion Nathan executive Gordon Cairns or former National Australia Bank deputy chief executive Michael Ullmer, who has been a non-executive director at Woolworths since 2012. 

The Woolworths board met on Tuesday and Wednesday and is due to make an announcement on Thursday or Friday, overshadowing the release of what is expected to be Woolworths’ weakest results for more than 15 years.

Analysts believe Woolworths’ net profits fell about 10 per cent in the June-half –  dragged down by widening losses at Masters, weaker profits at BIG W and subdued growth in food and liquor – taking full-year net profit to about $2.44 billion compared with $2.45 billion in 2014.

Scottish-born Mr. Cairns, who is chairman of Origin Energy and a director of Macquarie Group, ran the Lion Nathan beer business in Australia for seven years until 2004. He was chairman of department store David Jones for five months, taking the helm days before South African retailer Woolworths made a $1.9 billion takeover offer, which was subsequently raised to $2.1 billion.