Brand demand forces rethink by Woolworths

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 10th July 2009

Strong demand for national brands has ensured a change of heart at Woolworths’ Thomas Dux upmarket grocery stores, according to a report in The Age.

The burgeoning grocer is set to double the number of branded goods it currently sells to appease customers complaints that there were too few on offer.

General Manager of Thomas Dux, Pat McEntee, said they would increase the number of branded products from 15 per cent to 30 per cent of the 3000 lines their average store sells. The rest of the products will remain fresh food and deli goods, with the store operating independently to Woolworths and not stocking their private label goods.

“We listened to our customers and now we think we are pretty close where we need to be,” Mr McEntee told The Age.

Thomas Dux was introduced last year to counter the threat posed by independent gourmet grocers. Currently, there are two stores in operation – both in Sydney – but their recent acquisition of Macro Wholefoods will soon see this rise to eleven, spread across Melbourne and Sydney.

Late last year, Woolworths CEO Michael Luscombe praised the success of their first foray into the gourmet grocery sector and believes there is significant potential for further growth.

“We have opened two stores in Sydney so far, both of which are enormously successful and we look forward to expanding that brand over time,” he advised.