WOW - Woolworths
Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) is a large Australian company that operates in the retail sector. It is the largest food retailer and in fact the largest retail company in Australia by market capitalization. It is also the largest retailer of takeaway liquor in Australia and the largest operator of hotels and poker machines in Australia. It was first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1993.
Woolworths opened its first retail store, a variety store, in Sydney in 1924. The name was copied from the Woolworth’s retail chain that already existed in the United States and United Kingdom. By 1955 there were 200 Woolworth’s stores in Australia, and in 1985 it became the largest food retailer in Australia.
Today Woolworth’s has eight different divisions in Australia and two in New Zealand. In Australia these divisions run businesses including supermarkets, liquor stores, hotels, petrol stations, general merchandise stores, consumer electronics stores and home improvement stores. They also operate a loyalty program, offer a credit card, and sell pre-paid mobile phone SIM cards.
Woolworth’s is currently rated as one of the top 30 retailers (by revenue) in the world. By far its biggest competitor in Australia is the company Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd, which is wholly owned by Wesfarmers Limited and operates Coles Supermarkets. They have the second-largest market share in Australia behind Woolworth’s.
Profit was AUD$2.6 billion in 2008.
Woolworth’s corporate headquarters are located in Sydney, Australia.
Stock Symbol / Ticker: