Woolworths continues to create wealth across a broad spectrum of the South African economy, at the most fundamental level by generating direct employment and career opportunities for over 20 000 people and indirectly, many more through our manufacturing and processing network as well as assisting to bring small-scale suppliers into the value chain.
Woolworths has done a country of origin assessment in order to confirm that 95% of the food that it sells is South African in origin – a significant contribution to the South African economy, especially the agricultural sector.
Woolworths reiterated the company’s commitment to buying as much product locally as possible. The vast majority of goods sold in our stores, by volume, are manufactured in South Africa and we continue to encourage local manufacturing wherever possible.
We will only consider sourcing abroad where local or regional supplier partners are unable to provide the ideal quality, value and innovation that our customers expect.
Woolworths is also well placed to drive enterprise development projects and has set up teams devoted to working more closely with emerging suppliers, further supporting South African businesses first as a crucial part of our indirect economic contribution.
Woolworths’ expansion programme has moved to a focus on store extensions and modernisations. We are introducing the concept of a ‘superwoolies’ in Food through converting and expanding existing stores, which will offer a comprehensive catalogue of food items as well as household and home basics.
The current footprint includes: 378 stores
Woolworths continues to support 160 franchise operations in South Africa, selected African countries and the Middle East.
A detailed review of the Woolworths governance structure and processes can be found in the governance section of the 2010 annual report.