Aussie retail giant Woolworths has revealed it doesn’t buy the kinds of furniture you might think it does, but instead invests in the kind of furniture that will make your life better.
Woolworths Chief Executive Ian Narev told reporters at the company’s annual general meeting in Sydney on Monday that its “rural community-focused” approach is “about being socially engaged and getting the best value for money”.
“We spend a lot of time working with our customers to help them find the most appropriate furniture for their homes, and that’s why we have a range of products from home-built to fully-built,” Mr Narev said.
“But if you look at the prices of all our products, the value proposition is still the same.” “
We’re in the home-based retail industry, so it’s not as cheap as in Europe.”
“But if you look at the prices of all our products, the value proposition is still the same.”
Mr Narev also revealed Woolworth’s annual profit before tax has hit $4.5 billion in the past year, and its net debt has grown to $1.4 billion.
In response to the company saying it does not buy “rudely imported furniture”, Mr Nareyv said it does buy some products from overseas, but these “do not come with the same type of culture, the same cultural values, the social capital and the community spirit”.
“In some cases, it can be quite difficult to find the products that we are looking for in a market where we have to go out and purchase the furniture ourselves, because there is a culture of ‘buy American’ in the United States,” Mr Neavev said, noting that in Australia, there are “more choices”.
“So we’ve been working hard to make sure we’ve got the best possible product range that is locally produced.”
Woolymore is one of many retailers around the world that have begun to embrace the “rustic” approach to home decor.
Some of Australia’s biggest retailers, including Woolworth, have been promoting their “rustically” priced products with their own store logos, and many local retailers have started stocking the same “Rustic” products in their stores.
While the company will not advertise its “rusticity” policy, Mr Narevev said that in some cases customers would buy the same product if they thought it would make their life better, and not be embarrassed to buy a “rustical” item.
It’s a similar approach to the one Woolworth has used for years to promote its “Rusty” range of home goods, which has featured items such as a “toy” crib, “Rusties” sofa and a “Rustie” rug.
Mr Neaveve said Woolworth was not trying to be “rampant” in its use of the term “rustico”, which he said is used by some “traditionalists” in the industry.
But he said that for some customers, “they are a little bit disappointed when they look at some of the things that we have, like the Rustic Rug and the Rustie Table.”
We just want to give them something that’s more rustic and that they’re happy to spend a little more money on,” Mr Clare said.”
If you think about the things people would spend more money than buying a ‘rustico’ furniture or a ‘Rusty’ couch or a Rustie rug, that’s a little frustrating for them.