The first Woolworths store opened its doors to the public in Cape Town in October 1931. Since then, we’ve been building on our reputation for superior quality, exciting innovation and excellent value.
Founder Max Sonnenberg faced uncertain economic times when he captured the public’s imagination with a dynamic store policy that set Woolworths apart from its competitors. Three years later, a second branch opened in Durban, with another two in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg a year later. Over the past 80 years, our unique formula has seen the number of stores grow to over 400 across South Africa, Africa and the Middle East.
Keen to attract and retain the best retail professionals, Woolworths was among the first local retailers to offer employees a pension fund, medical aid and maternity leave.
Not just a forward thinking employer, Woolworths was also an early adopter of technology. A lease agreement for the first computer was agreed to with National Cash Registers (NCR) in the late 60s, and Woolworths was already using a computerised merchandising system by the early 1970s.
This dynamic thinking extends to Woolworths product offering as well. For example, in 1974, Woolworths became the first South African retailer to introduce ‘sell by’ dates on food packaging. Convenience, too, has long been a watchword at Woolworths: we were the first South African retailer to offer pre-washed lettuce and machine-washable wool clothing to consumers.
Throughout our 80-year history, though Woolworths has grown, evolved and adapted to the changing world, the brand has remained true to its core values of quality and style, service, integrity, value, energy, innovation and sustainability.
In April 2007, we launched our Good business journey – a bold plan to make a difference in four key areas on our journey towards sustainability. Our comprehensive plan sets targets across four priority areas: transformation, social development, the environment and climate change. We are exceedingly proud to have been named international Responsible Retailer of the year in 2008 and 2010 in recognition of our efforts to help shape a better future for generations to come.
Woolworths Career Options
In the dynamic world of Woolworths retail, careers can be developed in a number of specialist areas including Foods, Clothing, Homeware, Buying, Planning and Technology, and opportunities leading to General Management in Stores and Head Office. Support areas include careers in Administration, Finance, Information Systems, Audit, Marketing, Corporate Governance and Human Resources.
If you require any assistance using our site, please contact us on 0861 227337 / 0861 Career.
See detailed below some of the exciting Career Options at Woolworths:
MERCHANT OPPORTUNITIES IN BUYING AREAS –
For those who are really excited about product, there are exciting opportunities for Buyers based at Head Office who procure a balanced range of the most wanted goods for Woolworths. For those with meticulous attention to detail and highly developed analytical skills, the Planning role offers great challenges. Planners control and monitor the allocation of the right goods to the right store at the right time. For those who are innovative, creative and passionate about working with foods, the Selecting role offers great challenges. Selectors develop product, drawing from international trends and customer needs.
a day in the life of a product developer:
The product developer of our sweets and snacks department gave us a glimpse into her working life. She visits Belgium, Switzerland and Germany to explore their home-made chocolates. She also attends the sweets fairs to examine trends and emerging concepts which are then adapted to meet our customer needs. The product developer investigates the marketing opportunities and with innovative supply bases they develop concepts which lead the confectionery field in this country. Our sweets product developer studied Food Nutrition before joining Woolworths on an apprenticeship.
MERCHANT OPPORTUNITIES IN SELLING –
For those who have high energy and motivation and are passionate about trading goods and providing exceptional customer service, then a career as a merchant in one of our stores is a fantastic opportunity. In our stores, there are exciting general management opportunities for passionate, talented and committed retailers who have the drive to make a successful career in this challenging and demanding field. We have extensive training and mentoring for the right people who will be the leaders of the future.
a day in the life of a foods manager:
Talking to one of our foods managers at a Food stand alone is difficult as they never stand still!! This is the face and home of Woolies and where our merchants put money in the till. They are very busy dealing with early morning deliveries, ensuring the store is 100% ready for trade and ensuring our customers are part of the family – satisfied and happy shopping at Woolies. The people component is part of everyday management, from recruiting and developing staff through to coaching and ensuring food supply chain disciplines are followed through. With a number of stores opening, there are great opportunities for growth.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, SERVICE AREAS –
For those with specialist skills we offer a variety of challenging careers in this vital area of our business. Systems are an essential part of our competitive edge in retail and we need talented employees to develop the future with us. You would need relevant qualifications and experience and a drive to succeed.
a day in the life of an analyst programmer:
As an analyst programmer you day will involve a lot more than simply writing code. Your day will be filled with testing and supporting systems, investigating queries or bugs and fixing them, testing functionality and analysing impacts of new changes on other systems. Each day presents a variety of challenges, including providing the technical requirements for changes to existing systems.
SUPPLY CHAIN, OPERATIONS –
Supply Chain forms the backbone of our business, and ensures the fast and efficient transport of goods from supplier to stores, supported by well-designed systems and processes.