Woolworths Group’s $10B boosts regional economy, supports 100K jobs

: Woolworths Group has released new economic research that measures the impact of its stores, supply chain and supplier relationships in regional Australia, finding the country’s largest retailer contributes almost $10 billion annually to the regional economy.

This week the Woolworths Group marked National Farming Day with its release 2023 Regional Report Describes its role in rural and regional communities – many of which are built around Australia’s agricultural industry.

According to Mandala’s independent economic analysis, nearly $10 billion was paid to regional communities by the Woolworths Group in F23 – made up of $2.9 billion in direct contributions and $7 billion through its partnerships with regional suppliers.

The research found that the Woolworths Group supports 105,000 jobs in regional Australia, employing 47,500 team members and indirectly supporting another 57,500 jobs.

The report outlines not only the scale of the Woolworths Group’s impact employment – ​​which represents around 17 per cent of all retail workers in regional Australia – but also caters to under-represented groups such as youth, women and First Nations Australians.

Across all three groups, the Woolworths Group’s regional workforce representation is higher than the regional average, in proportion to:

  • Group members aged 15-24 are twice the regional average,

  • 25 percent more women than the regional average, and

  • First Nations group members are 11 per cent higher than the regional average.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said: “Regional Australia has been an important part of our story since we first opened our store doors in Ipswich in 1929, and today we have 400 locations across the regions.

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„What we do every day in our stores across the country is to help bring great Australian fresh food to millions of customers without farmers, producers, processors, wholesalers and transport partners.

“We are proud to serve hundreds of Australian communities from Mount Isa to Albany and contribute to the livelihoods of key agricultural centers and regional cities through food security and employment.

„One of the most rewarding parts of our presence in these communities is the role we play in youth employment, where our stores move from entry-level jobs to meaningful and rewarding jobs with Woolworths and other employers.”

Over the next five years, the Woolworths Group is expected to invest more than $330 million in 29 projects in regional Australia, including refurbishing existing stores and developing new retail locations that provide co-location opportunities for other retailers.

This pipeline of investment in regional locations represents 21 per cent of the retail sector’s forecast total capital expenditure across Australia, and is expected to create more than 1,800 jobs in construction.

More than 750 of these construction jobs will be in regional Victoria and 560 in regional Queensland as Woolworths works to provide infrastructure to continue to serve growing regional communities.

The 2023 Woolworths Group Regional Report is available for download HereCase studies provide further insights into its contribution to regional communities, the volume of produce it purchases from Australian farmers and its role in responding to natural disasters.

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