Woolworths introduces employee scheme that could boost sales by $115m

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 1st December 2008

Australia’s largest supermarket operator, Woolworths, has unveiled a scheme to their employees that will allow staff to use their pretax salary dollars to spend up to A$1000 each at Woolworths outlets prior to January 9, 2009, The Australian Financial Review has reported.

The salary sacrifice plan applies to 115,000 of the company’s 160,000 employees, meaning it could encourage a $115m sales boost. The company will only accept two receipts to come to the $1000 figure, however, encouraging the purchase of larger items or baskets of goods.

A Woolworths spokesman told The Australian Financial Review that the scheme was expected to be well received by staff during the busy Christmas shopping season and suggested it was not a short-term fix to the economic downturn, as the scheme had spent considerable time in the planning pipeline.

Woolworths reported last week that sales had remained strong in many of their divisions, with their grocery sector, in particular, shielded from any downturn in consumer spending. Chief Executive Michael Luscombe also suggested that Christmas retail sales would be robust, underpinned by falling petrol prices and interest rates as well as the Government’s stimulus package.