AUS | Woolworths Group has released new economic research quantifying the impact of its stores, supply chain, and supplier relationships in regional Australia. According to an independent economic analysis from Mandala, the nation's largest retailer was found to contribute almost $10 billion annually to the regional economy.
In the 2023 Regional Report unveiled during National Agriculture Day, Woolworths Group detailed its crucial role in rural and regional communities, particularly those centred around Australia's agriculture industry. The $10 billion impact in F23 comprised a $2.9 billion direct contribution and $7 billion through partnerships with regional suppliers.
The research highlighted Woolworths Group's support for 105,000 jobs in regional Australia, directly employing 47,500 team members and indirectly contributing to another 57,500 jobs. This represented approximately 17 percent of all retail workers in regional Australia. The report emphasised the opportunities provided by Woolworths Group for underrepresented groups, showcasing higher-than-average representation for youth, women, and First Nations Australians in its regional workforce.
Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said he was proud of the company's longstanding connection with regional Australia, dating back to the opening of its Ipswich store in 1929. He acknowledged the essential role farmers, producers, processors, wholesalers, and transport partners played in bringing quality Australian fresh food to millions of customers. Banducci highlighted the company's commitment to contributing to the livability of agricultural centres and regional towns through food security and employment.
Banducci continued, stating that Woolworths Group's role in youth employment often acts as a springboard for entry-level jobs into meaningful and rich careers with Woolworths and other employers.
Woolworths Group plans to invest over $330 million in 29 projects in regional Australia over the next five years. This includes updating existing stores and developing new retail spaces, offering co-location opportunities for other retailers. This investment is a significant portion of the entire retail sector's forecast total capital expenditure Australia-wide and is expected to generate over 1,800 construction jobs, focusing on regional Victoria and Queensland.