We aim to restore and reinvigorate our Group to deliver future-fit, customer-centric businesses that return long-term profit growth and create sustainable value for all our stakeholders.
We have a new chairman, new CEO and a refreshed Board, which, in conjunction with the Group’s leadership teams, are undertaking a comprehensive strategic review of our Group and businesses.
Our strategic thinking will be informed by feedback from stakeholder engagements, the material issues identified, and the associated risks and opportunities.
The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the rate of change emanating across the global retail landscape, impacting every aspect of our Group – from how our customers shop to how our employees work. While some aspects of our strategy are working well, others have become less relevant in a post-COVID environment.
As a business, we need to evolve if we are to remain relevant and purposeful; our thinking must take into account not only the lessons we have learnt by trading through the pandemic but also how we must adapt in an evolving consumer ecosystem to position ourselves for long-term, sustainable growth to the benefit of all stakeholders.
Our immediate priority is to stabilise our businesses, protect liquidity, and strengthen our balance sheet. We have undertaken numerous initiatives to address this objective and will continue to do so as we seek to unlock value in our Australasian businesses and return capital to the WHL Group.
We are clear that in order to protect and grow our core businesses, our customers must remain the absolute focus of everything we do. In Southern Africa, this means turning around our Woolworths Fashion, Beauty and Home (FBH) business while maintaining the leadership position of our Food business in quality and innovation. In Australasia, more work needs to be done to define the brand positioning within both David Jones and CRG, while simultaneously accelerating efforts to optimise our network of stores.
While protecting and growing our existing businesses is important, we also need to expand for more if we are to become a leading and truly connected retailer. Integral to this is enhancing the data-analytics capabilities across the organisation and accelerating the investment in our online platforms, systems and processes. This will support the opportunities we see for category expansion in multiple areas of our product offering.
While we will focus on diligently allocating our resources to drive sustainable financial performance, we also need to establish a modern People model, embedding our Group-wide shared purpose, vision, and goals to drive a values-based, high-performance culture.