free woolworths case study for AFI! (1 Viewer)


Oct 12, 2005
Newcastle, NSW
here ya go kids, if this helps anyone than thats good. I did this case study for AFI, i think its fairly detailed & pretty much adherent to the syllabus so i hope it helps.

Establishment: Woolworths Kotara
Sector: Food Retail

a) Levels of operation & mechanism.
Woolworths is a fully Australian owned company, with a nearby shopping centre available to almost every Australian. It is a publicly listed company and the largest supermarket retailer in Australia. Woolworths Kotara is the largest retailer in the Westfield Kotara shopping centre. Woolworths Limited Brands include: Safeway Supermarkets, Tandy Electronics, Dick Smith Electronics, Big W, BWS liquor and Woolworths liquor. Woolworths is a multinational company, with chains of supermarkets in New Zealand and South Africa.

Woolworths Kotara uses large scale industrial sized equipment to suit its large turnover and production of stock. Some of the equipment we viewed included:
•Autostocker, in conjunction with an RF unit (Radio Frequency Unit) – this hand held computer stores the information regarding numbers of individual lines on the shelves and in storage. It controls the reordering of stock and allows staff to access detailed and specific data quickly and easily.
•Hobart mixer (bakery) – used for mixing doughs for cakes, breads, biscuits etc baked on site. Has a huge 80 litre bowl for mass production of baked goods.
•Industrial dishwasher (bakery) – washes large volumes of cutlery and dishes, saving time and water.
•Prover (bakery) – the breads are placed into the prover where the yeast is activated and the loaf can triple in volume.
•Shaving slicer (deli) – slices meat to required thicknesses, uses an auto stacking action to layer sliced meat for display.
•Mincer (butcher) – minces a variety of meats that are then packaged into appropriate sized packages for the consumer’s needs.
•Meat packager (butcher) – this machine saves the butchers from having to hand wrap all their cuts of meat.
•Rollcages (storeroom) – used to transport goods from the delivery trucks to the storeroom to the shelves. They limit the rehandling of stock, which saves money and increases staff efficiency. The use of rollcages as opposed to palettes & shopping trolleys involves less bending and therefore is a safer alternative for OHS requirements.

b) Research and development carried out by the business
•Woolworths is the first company in the world to use the Autostocker on fresh produce. This allows them greater control of their fresh produce and gives them an edge on the competition because they are able to reduce over-ordering and having to sell food at discount prices in order to recoup losses.
•Woolworths Kotara is a part of the Westfield Kotara shopping centre. Westfield Kotara is involved in market research of the demographics of their local area, and they pass this information on to their retailers in order to improve the services they offer, thereby increasing sales and profits. Up until a decade or two ago, Kotara was an older area demographically. However today many younger families have moved into the area and Westfield Kotara’s changing image reflects this modernisation. One recent example of this is the change of name, from Garden City to Westfield Kotara. Becoming part of the Westfield chain helps put Kotara on the map and thus increases consumer interest and business profit. Woolworths Kotara will sell what the local people want to buy, causing the local demographics to be a part of the basis of product selection.

c) Quality Assurance Procedures
•Woolworths labels all of their fresh produce in accordance with government regulations that stipulate that all imported foods should be clearly labelled with country of origin. Woolworths has capitalised on this legislation by advertising that 97% of their fresh produce is Australian grown, and that if they can buy a product in Australia, they will. If not, they will source the best quality imported product possible. Woolworths also has large plastic Australian flags above each fresh produce item that is Australian grown, advertising this fact so that consumers can be aware that importing of fresh produce only occurs when the food is unavailable in Australia.
•In the bakery, the fridge temperature is checked three times daily, and the temperature is recorded and signed.
•In the bakery there is a folder containing the recipes and pictures for every product that Woolworths makes. It details what the product should look like and how each product is made, as well as storage instructions and safety & hygiene precautions. This ensures consistency of produce and the safety of consumers.
•Pre-packaged salads have replaced the old self serve bars (nicknamed ‘sneeze bars’) to reduce the risk of contamination and food poisoning, and also to make salad selection an easier process for the consumer.
•The ‘inverted bag technique’ is enforced in the deli. This is where the plastic bag that the meat will be sold in is inverted and used as a glove to pick up the food, and then it is turned through the right way and the product is weighed and sold. This eliminates the common germ build up in and on plastic gloves.
•The deli cold cases are kept at or below 5 degrees. The hot cases are kept above 60 degrees. When cooking BBQ chickens, the core of the chicken is required to be above 86 degrees before it can be removed from the oven.
•In the deli, the sealed floor prevents micro organism growth and promotes thorough cleaning.
•Everything in the deli cool rooms is labelled and date coded, and is used within 48 hours or wasted.
•Stainless steel benches in the butcher’s workroom and the deli allow for thorough cleaning and sanitising, and prevent micro organism growth.
•Chicken is stored in a separate cool room to all other meats. The seafood section of the deli is separately managed and staffed, although it is located adjacent to the meat deli for the convenience of the customer. By separating the chicken and seafood from the other deli foods, this minimises the risk of cross contamination and protects the consumer.
•The butchers wear mesh gloves which are made from stainless steel. This prevents serious cuts and also keeps the meat free of foreign objects such as fingernails.
•Woolworths has recently changed over from using wooden & plastic palettes for storage to using metal rollcages. The rollcages involve less bending and thus prevent injury and support OHS safety standards.

d) Consumer influences on company decisions
•The demographics of the area determine what products Woolworths makes available for sale.
•The growing consumer interest in Australian foods has seen Woolworths become more vocal about their policies of buying Australian produce.
•In Woolworth’s in-store bakery, Woolworths would prefer to bake all their products on site, however there is a high consumer demand for products that their bakery cannot produce. Approximately 50% of Woolworth’s bakery section is baked on site.
•Consumers want new, exotic, unusual foods & Woolworths caters for this by varying their products and advertising different ways of combining and preparing foods with leaflets in store and recipe ideas on their website. An example from Woolworths Kotara is the ‘Bazaar Breads of the World’ stand, with a selection of differently shaped exotic breads, dips and sauces. The grouping of these foods gives consumers ideas of how to combine them to best suit their needs.
•The consumer pressure for more hygienic procedures and systems in all food retailers has been felt by every food establishment. Woolworths aims for the best standards of hygiene & food safety, changing their previous procedures if necessary. One way they have done this is with the removal of the old self-serve salad bars (nicknamed ‘sneeze bars’) which could easily harbour germs from consumers and contaminants. These have been replaced with pre-packaged salads and salad selections from the deli. These have the added benefit of being quick and easy for the consumer.
•All safety / quality assurance procedures are there to keep the consumer informed and safe.
•Economy selection meats – there is a market for cheaper meats, and these economy selection meats are the only fresh meats that Woolworths doesn’t package. Woolworths buys these cuts already packaged in MAP packaging (Modified Atmosphere Packaging), which increases the shelf life of the meat & maintains the bloom of the meat.

e) Impact on the environment, economy & society
•On the Woolworths website, they state: “As part of the Woolworths' commitment through the Australian Retailers Association we are now working towards a targeted 50% reduction by December 2005.” Woolworths has already reduced its plastic bag usage by 25% so far.
•If a customer has 3 or less items they won’t be offered a bag. It is now Woolworths policy to overfill plastic bags. ‘Green bags’ are sold & their use is encouraged.
•Woolworths provides a recycling bin for plastic bags to minimise the number of plastic bags that are dumped in landfill every year.
•Woolworths sends its ‘green’ waste such as rotten, imperfect or excess produce to local farms and nurseries for use as fertiliser instead of ending up as landfill.
•Woolworths uses ‘spill kits’ that save water & help prevent waste ending up in our waterways. Spill kits consist of a dry absorbent fibre, similar to sand, that absorbs spills instead of washing them away. These are used in all Woolworths stores.
•Fresh produce is 97% Australian. If something can be bought in Australia, Woolworths will buy it. Only if Australian produce is unavailable or unrealistically priced will they import foreign foods. These are all correctly labelled.

Woolworths supports the local & national community.
•‘Woolworths Limited Australian Communities Foundation’ was created in the last year to organise & focus Woolworths charitable contributions.
•Woolworths donates $5 million each year to major Australian children’s hospitals & children’s medical research.
•Woolworths runs a ‘Fresh Future children’s hospital appeal every year. This is an eight week fundraising event involving donation tins at cash registers and the sale of Fresh Future merchandise. In 2005 they raised $3.5 million for children’s hospitals.
•Woolworths is committed to training & employing young Australian workers. 35% of Woolworth’s employees are between the ages of 16 and 20.

f) Career Opportunities
•On their website, Woolworths states: “[we] have more apprentices and trainees than any other Australian company.” This gives employees an opportunity to ‘earn as they learn’, emerging from their job with qualifications and a steady income.
•Cadet programs are available to employees, to help them specialise in specific areas of food retail.
•There are always opportunities to move up through the ranks in Woolworths stores. Each individual store has hundreds of different occupations to suit all skill levels and interests.

g) Working conditions
I felt the information I gathered on the excursion to Woolworths in conjunction with the information provided by the Woolworths website was insufficient for this question. I emailed Woolworths to ask for more information and they replied saying that any information not listed on their website or offered on the excursion was company sensitive and they could not give me more details. The limited information I found is as follows:
•Woolworths has an Employee Assistance Programme – this assists employees who have been injured during their employment.
•Bonuses are available such as target sales bonuses, OHS bonuses.
•Woolworths pays award wages.


Jul 1, 2007
Thank you SO much.

lol Aren't you scared people will plagiarize your work?
But it gives me a good idea on what to do. Thanks!


New Member
Nov 2, 2008
Actually I believe that Woolworths in South Africa is not related to our Woolworths at all, it's actually a retail chain not a "supermarket" so much.


New Member
Sep 26, 2011
You are an absolute legend. thank you thank you and thank you again!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :)


Mar 3, 2012
yeah thanks heaps...i'm doing it in class right now and i need notes

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