Retail and financial services
Founded in South Africa in 1931. Today the South African investment company has retail operations throughout Africa and into the Middle East, plus they own Australian retail chains Country Road and David Jones. It is not related to Woolworths Ltd in Australia.
|Woolworths Holdings Ltd||ZAF||website|
|Woolworths Holdings Ltd|
This company has signed the Cotton Pledge with the Responsible Sourcing Network, signifying a public commitment to not use Uzbekistani cotton. (Uzbekistan is the world's fifth largest exporter of cotton and has for decades been criticised for using the forced labour of its schoolchildren to harvest that cotton by hand under appalling conditions. This practice is organised and controlled by the central government).
[Source 2016][More on Human Rights]
In 2012 Woolworths Holdings won the International Responsible Retailer of the Year Award at the World Retail Congress for the third time in five years. Improved indicators include carbon footprint, water and packaging reduction, sustainable clothing and food products.
[Source 2012][More on Governance]
This company was designated a "New Sustainability Champion" in this 2010 document (page 42) from the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group. New Sustainability Champions proactively turn constraints into opportunities through innovation, embed sustainability in their company culture, and actively shape their business environments.
[Source 2010][More on Governance]
Wikipedia lists a number of controversies for this company: In October 2010, Woolworths came under fire as they opted to remove Christian magazines from their shelves and discontinue their sale; In 2012 the South African Advertising Standards Authority ruled that Woolworths' vintage cold drink range was an imitation of a rival soft drinks range; In September 2012 Woolworths was accused of racism by some groups for allegedly discriminating against white job applicants and staff; In October 2013 rumours of plagiarism surfaced when Euodia Roets, a South African artist, accused Woolworths of using her designs that were kept as sample after contract negations which failed.
[Source 2015][More on Human Rights]
In Nov 2012 the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) and Woolworths announced a broad-based, multifaceted partnership to drive greater sustainability through selected Woolworths products and operations. The three year partnership "recognises the growing congruence between WWF-SA and Woolworths interests in, among others: the conservation of energy; freshwater ecosystems; the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices; and the protection of fish stocks."
[Source 2012][More on Forests]
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target; report climate change information in mainstream reports as a fiduciary duty; remove commodity-driven deforestation from all supply chains by 2020.
[Source 2016][More on Climate Change]
Compassion in World Farming is a UK-based organisation which works with the European food industry to encourage and reward commitment, transparency, performance and innovation in the field of animal welfare. This company won their Good Egg Award in 2014 for their work with free-range eggs.
[Source 2014][More on Animal Rights]
Textile Exchange (formerly known as Organic Exchange) is a US-based non-profit organization which operates internationally and is committed to the responsible expansion of textile sustainability across the global textile value chain, with a special focus on organic cotton.
[Source 2013][More on Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives]
Follow link to see this company's latest sustainability reports.
[Source 2015][More on Sustainability Reporting]
This company is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, a voluntary program which encourages the adoption of better management practices in cotton cultivation to achieve measurable reductions in key environmental impacts, while improving social and economic benefits for cotton farmers, small and large, worldwide.
[Source 2016][More on Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives]
|Company Structure||Public company|
|Revenue||US$3.4 billion in 2012|
|# Employees||22,000 in 2012|
|Subsidiaries||David Jones Ltd
Country Road Ltd
- Laci Pty Ltd
- Witchery Fashions Pty Ltd
|Address||Cape Town, South Africa|
Products / BrandsDavid Jones
Agenda Womens Fashion
Alta Linea Childrenswear
Alta Linea Menswear (casual)
David Jones Womens Fashion
David Jones Department Stores
David Jones Clothing Stores
Milana Womens Fashion
Milana Menswear (casual)
Milana Womens Shoes
St James Childrenswear
St James Menswear (casual)
Country Road Womens Fashion
Country Road Menswear (casual)
Country Road Childrenswear
Mimco Womens Shoes
Trenery Menswear (casual)
Trenery Womens Fashion
Politix Menswear (casual)
Witchery Womens Fashion
David Jones acquired by South Africa's Woolworths
20th Jul 2014 — David Jones became foreign owned in July 2014, ending 176 years of Australian ownership, after being acquired by South Africa's Woolworths for $2.2 billion. Woolworths also owns clothing retail group Country Road. [source]
New Retail category and Duopoly chart
5th Apr 2014 — Our website has a new category – Retail. It covers all the major supermarkets, department stores, fuel & convenience stores, hardware stores, liquor stores and toy stores. Woolworths and Wesfarmers dominate all these sectors, but there are other options. Are your shopping choices supporting gaming, worker exploitation or anticompetitive practices? It's estimated that 40 cents in every dollar we spend goes to a Woolworths or Wesfarmers (owner of Coles) retail entity. See our interactive Duopoly chart to find out more about the retail brands they own. [source]
ACCC is to take Coles and Woolworths to court over fuel discounts.
26th Feb 2014 — Woolworths and Coles will test the competition regulator's power to rip apart generous fuel discounts of more than 4¢ a litre, with a December truce between the supermarkets and watchdog already collapsed. Both supermarket chains, which last year raked in $13 billion in petrol sales through their co-branded stations, will now face the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in the Federal Court with the legal stoush the latest chapter in a long-running war of words. The often fractious relationship again flared up on Tuesday when the ACCC said it had begun court proceedings against Woolworths and Coles for allegedly breaching court-enforceable undertakings made last year to limit discounts linking fuel and grocery shopping. At the heart of the latest dispute are new promotions by Woolworths and Coles that offer fuel discounts from supermarket dockets that can then be bundled or stacked on top of discounts for purchases made at their petrol stations, effectively a much larger petrol discount than the agreed 4¢. Read more... [source]
Big manufacturers hail supermarket protection
19th Nov 2013 — Grocery manufacturers say a voluntary code of conduct agreed with the major supermarket chains will curb profits being transferred to Coles and Woolworths and denied it will push up grocery prices. Australian Food and Grocery Council chief executive Gary Dawson said the new regime would help limit the $4 billion suppliers handed over to retailers each year in the form of rebates, discounts and shelf and listing fees. "There's only so much profit in the pot and there's a limit on how much can be transferred," he said handing the final draft code of conduct to the federal government on Monday. "Hopefully by putting some sensible limits around paying for listing [on shelves] and promotions and paying for prominence it might bring some rationality back into that area of costs," he said. "That will hopefully slow down the profit transfer between retailers and suppliers," Australia's largest baker, Goodman Fielder, and largest soft drink bottler, Coca-Cola Amatil - both of which have suffered at the hands of the major retailers in the last two years – welcomed the agreement. [source]