Woolworths Wants To Sell You Even More House Brand Goods

One of the most frequently expressed concerns about supermarket house brands is that they will squeeze out rival products. If that bothers you, you won't like this: Woolworths is planning to expand its range of house brands even more -- including more products at the pricier end of the market.

Woolworths today announced a new three-year strategy for its supermarkets, as part of a broader revamp which the parent company has branded "Lean Retail". Changes will include more ready-to-heat meals in store and further price reductions. One temporary change will be adding "an extra half-day of stock levels" across all stores to ensure that popular brands don't run short.

However, the thing that really jumped out at us was the plan to expand house brands. Woolworths openly acknowledges this is driven by the growing popularity of ALDI, which largely relies on its own brands and which is expanding rapidly.

Here's what Woolworths had to say:

A new pricing and value strategy will be implemented to neutralise Coles and contain Aldi's impact on our sales, with measures including lower pricing, better ranging, targeted customer offers using a revised and improved loyalty system, and a detailed strategy for improving Own Brands. Own Brands will play a key role in competing with limited range discounters. Woolworths will create higher quality and better priced Own Brands to close range gaps where no branded alternative exists.

That suggests that Woolworths isn't planning to add more Home Brand goods in its discount house brand range -- an area where all supermarkets tend to closely match prices. Instead, it wants to focus on its Select brand goods.

Our general stance on house brand goods is that it's always worth trying them -- if they're cheaper and just as good, why pay more just for the label? But some consumers automatically oppose them, or refuse to buy them unless they're made in Australia. What's your take? Would Woolworths increasing its house brand range make you switch from Aldi? Tell us in the comments.


Comments

    It's annoying as hell when brands you like are squeezed out or dropped. Some of the select stuff is pretty decent though.

    Fine, but not when they stop carrying the better brands. How is this even legal?
    They don't carry Berri lemon or lime juice any more, just their own crappy brand, which is unusable.

    Woolworths can collect the data on how well a product sells, which flavours sell best etc. then put their own brand in and stop stocking the competition, I don't see how that is legal under anti competition laws. Coles does the same thing.

      Forget the legalities. Shop elsewhere and stuff 'em.

    What I would love is for Foodland (SA) to be more South Australian patriotic. Dedicate entire isles to locally produced goods, whether it is foodland's own brand, or local producers. That way I can start in that isle, support my state producers and then shop for other items in the store for other goods like rosella tomato sauce.
    This is an entirely different approach to the market squeeze that Woolworths and Coles use. It benefits the state as it shows what we do produce and potentially opens our eyes much better even ignoring price disparity from competing products that aren't SA produced. It might even help the store to actively seek more state produce to expand the potential demand.

    then again, I don't think foodland is on the stock exchange answering to shareholders like coles and woolworths are.

    If this does happen, as long as the produce is all mostly australian made, keeping old and creating new jobs and not cutting them for higher profits. Although since the frozen berry scare I have noticed a lot of items are now becoming products of Australia. If this keeps up, then I will still be happy to shop there

    Last edited 06/05/15 3:57 pm

      it seems to me that the big boys want to run everything
      you see they created that home brand for a reason and they would of got freindly with major brands first telling them that
      they would make more money as the product is not as good
      and people would go for there brands but what the producers and companies did not notice was slowly the home brands improved so they increased there prices and changed there packaging but the companies were happier but what they did not see is that the big boys supermarkets had another agenda as they will reduce there prices on there
      products and because they got more quality products people will go to them therefore making the companies reduce there
      prices on there stock and eventually removing it as they will not be able to compete now the big problem with this is only
      one thing THE BIG BOYS WILL RUN EVERY THING AND INCREASE WHAT THEY LIKE AND YOU CANT DO A THING ABOUT IT :EG - PETROL DO NOT FALL FOR THE TRAP

      As you can see they are removing all working humans from there store so they dont need to pay them instead they have a machine with cameras so if that keeps going you will take
      100 times longer to do your shopping as machines malfunction so there will be long lines then they will tell you to order on line and charge you double my 2c.

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