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Woolworths plans store restructure and addition of two new departments

Woolworths will revamp its store operating model for the first time since 2011, to put a greater focus on fresh food, convenience and customer service to suit changing customer needs.

The supermarket briefed team members on Wednesday about the implementation of the store model which will see the creation of two new fresh food departments at stores in the coming months.

Fresh Service will manage customer service at the deli, butchery and seafood counters while Fresh Convenience will cover dairy, eggs, pre-pack meat, branded bread and meal solutions.

“Over the last few years our customers’ needs have changed, but the way we have been operating our stores has stayed the same,” Claire Peters, managing director, Woolworths Supermarkets said.

“With customers’ ongoing expectations in fresh, and more shoppers looking for increased convenience, our stores need to deliver the best possible customer experience, every time.”

Peters said the new model will allow team members to be “more customer focused than ever before”.

Last week at the AFGC’s Food & Grocery conference, Woolworths highlighted the need for better convenience offerings for time-poor customers, as well as new and different choices that are good for health, wellbeing and the planet.

While the number of team members required in the new structure will not change, some current roles will be made redundant. Woolworths said in a statement to Inside FMCG that it aims to provide “as many redeployment opportunities as possible”.

Woolworths will invest more than $10 million in team training and development as part of the restructure and will add Assistant Team Manager roles to facilitate better management progression.

The operating model has already been rolled out across a group of stores in New South Wales, with changes to other stores to be phased in over the coming months.

The supermarket recently revealed plans to further reduce promotions and focus on everyday value in stores in an effort to gain better “price trust” among consumers.

Shopper feedback revealed that price is the most important element of customer’s trust and is a key area of focus for the retailer.

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