New economic research from Woolworths Group finds that the retailer contributes almost $10 billion annually to the regional economy.
Last week to mark National Agriculture Day, Woolworths released its 2023 Regional Report, detailing its role in rural and regional communities.
According to independent economic analysis by Mandala, almost $10 billion was injected into regional communities by Woolworths in FY23. This was made up of $2.9 billion of direct contribution and $7 billion through its partnerships with regional suppliers.
The research found that the retailer supports 105,000 jobs in regional Australia, employing 47,500 team members and indirectly supporting another 57,500 jobs.
The report also outlines the opportunities it provides for underrepresented groups, such as youth, women and First Nations Australians. Across all three groups, representation in Woolworths’ regional workforce is greater than the regional average, with the proportion of:
- Team members aged between 15 and 24 more than double the regional average
- Women 25% higher than the regional average
- First Nations team members 11% above the regional average
“Regional Australia has been a pivotal part of our story since we first opened the doors at our store in Ipswich in 1929, and we today have 400 locations across the regions,” says Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci.
“What we do every day in our stores across the country wouldn’t be possible without the farmers, producers, processors, wholesalers and transport partners who help us bring the best of Australian fresh food to millions of customers.
“We’re proud to serve hundreds of Australian communities from Mt Isa to Albany, and to be contributing to the livability of vital agricultural centres and regional towns through food security and employment.
“One of the most rewarding parts of our presence in these communities is the role we play in youth employment, where our stores can act as a springboard from entry level jobs into meaningful and rich careers with Woolworths and other employers.”
In the next five years, Woolworths is expected to invest more than $330 million in 29 projects in regional Australia. This includes updating existing stores and developing new retail spaces which also provide co-location opportunities for other retailers.