Woolworths makes shock move

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Activists rubbing their hands together with glee about Woolworths announcing a more than $1 billion write-off might want to look a bit further into the figures.

People who boycotted the chain over its decision to not stock Australia Day merchandise were all over social media claiming it was a result of their decision to shop elsewhere.

Clearly, reading past the headline is beneath them, otherwise they might have realised it wasn’t the action of a bunch of suburban warriors but a writedown of assets for the NZ supermarket operation and, as such, only an accounting ‘loss’ of NZ$1.6 billion. Still a loss, but Woolworths isn’t going under any time soon.

In fact, reading further into the figures, it becomes clear that Woolworths’ Australian grocery operation is doing just fine and is on track to post an even bigger profit than last year. Which, if you remember, was $1.62 billion.

However, Woolworths executives facing a grilling into gouging by the Senate Select Committee on Supermarket Pricing probably don’t want that too well known, and have been accused of wrapping that good news up in a cover of bad news.

This week’s best deals


Sensible: Smiths Chips 90-170g, $2.40, better than half price. Chips are in no way sensible, my goodness no, but this is less than half price. If that’s not a doorbuster I don’t know what is.  

Indulgence: Country Delight Snowballs, $2.99. Do the IGA buyers have a relative working for Country Delight? It seems to go on special every other week, and I’m here for it.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Westacre Dairy Tasty Cheese, 1kg, $9.99. We made the switch to this when the other cheese that looks just like this, but with a scandalous name (now improved) started cracking the $13/kg mark. I notice that other cheese is now $15/kg. The Aldi version is just as good because my cheese loving family did not notice the substitution.

Indulgence: Blackstone Bagel Flavoured Cashews, $4.49. Not so much an indulgence, but why? Why would you make a bagel-flavoured cashew. What even is bagel flavoured? Wouldn’t that just be bread? Utter fail by the people who bring you artificial flavours.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Bega Simply Nuts Peanut Butter, $3.30, save $2.20. I have long believed there is a lost opportunity in marketing for someone to make a double entendre about peanuts in their labelling. We’re not quite there with Simply Nuts, but we are getting close. Do better Bega.

Indulgence: Coles Banana Bread or Cake slices, five-pack, $6. Is this the most expensive wa ever to eat banana bread? Probably. It’s also very convenient. However, calling it ‘bread’ is a bit of a stretch. Looks like cake, smells like cake, tastes like cake … it’s cake. Just call it cake.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Chobani Yoghurt Pots, half price $1.35. Love, love love the Chobani flavours, especially the coconut. Makes great smoothies. Avoid the lemon flavour, it just doesn’t seem to work.

Indulgence: SunRice White Medium Grain 10kg, half price $19. I realise this is a ridiculous amount of rice for most families, but not all. If it’s too much for you, why not go halvies with a friend or family?

See the catalogue here.

Did you boycott Woolworths over its decision about Australia Day merchandise? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: Supermarket pricing tactics lead to unhealthy choices, data shows

Written by Jan Fisher

Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.

One Comment

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  1. Yes….Up until Woolworths announcement that they would be boycotting Australia Day, I was a regular customer.
    Now I will be shopping Drakes or Coles………
    I am totally disgusted with Woolworths……..CEO should resign………..clearly he isnt reading the room……..how much did they spend supporting the referendum????

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