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Woolworths Boss Responds To Big W Sale Claim

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci has not ruled out selling discount chain Big W but at this stage it’s business as normal.

After announcing a company-transforming deal yesterday to merge and then later spin off its $10 billion liquor, pubs and poker machines operations Banducci was questioned about Big W who has recently expanded their consumer electronics and appliance business to include more known brands including Logitech, Sony, Apple, Fitbit and Microsoft Xbox products.

Banducci stopped short of saying Woolworths’ next move would be to offload the struggling Big W discount department chain which lost $100M last year.

In 2017 Woolworths off loaded the loss-making Masters hardware chain and last year sold its petrol chain for $1.7bn.

According to analysts the problem for Woolworths is finding a buyer.

2017 was the second consecutive year that the Company has lost tens of millions and that in an effort to reduce costs the retailer said that it would close down 30 of its 183 Big W stores over the next three years, as well as two distribution centres, as it works to transform the struggling business and return it to profitability.

“No, not at all,” Mr Banducci said when asked if offloading Big W was being contemplated.

“We made some very tough calls on the business earlier this year … and we are very comfortable having it in our portfolio.”

Mr Banducci said the streamlined Woolworths group would be able to put greater effort into its digital platforms and e-retailing capabilities.

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