Woolworths Research Project

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  1. The details and history about Woolworths pg 3
  1. A thorough SWOT analysis pg 4 and 5
  1. The necessity of corporate governance and the importance of the king code pg 6 and 7
  1. Have the regulations been implemented pg 8
  1. How do I feel? Sustainable or not… pg 9

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About Woolworths:

The first store was opened in 1931 was in Cape Town. The founder of Woolworths was Max Sonnenberg and when Woolworths first started he faced uncertain economic times, he had captured the public’s attention with his dynamic store policies which had set Woolworths apart from its competitors which today are companies like Edgars on the clothing side and pick n’ pay on the food side. With the popularity of Woolworths growing a second branch was opened in Durban three years after Woolworths started and another two in Port Elizabeth and a year later another was opened in Johannesburg. The Woolworths brand has also spread across the world to places such as Australia and New Zealand and Singapore.

Woolworths was among the first retailers to offer pension funds, medical aid as well as maternity leave which Woolworths wanted to use to attracted the best retail professionals.

Woolworths slowly starting to take off also was an early adopter of technology and in the early 70s Woolworths signed a lease agreement for the NCR, national cash Registers.

What also set Woolworths apart from other retailer was in 1974 when they became the first retailers in South Africa to offer a sell by date on their products.



Most successful American and international five-and-dime stores, setting trends and creating the modern retail model which stores follow today, worldwide.

Pioneered and developed merchandising, direct purchasing, sales and customer service practices commonly used today.

Offer discounted prices which increase footfall in store

Strong brand name and reputation among customers


The brand has failed to sustain its competitive advantage

Solution: staying more organized and being aware of open or profitable opportunities.

Limited global presence as compared to market leaders

Solution: more public and online advertising about specials and rarely available items.


The brand can tap new emerging markets like emerging and developing countries.

The brand can promote itself by viral advertising and aggressive social media usage

Promotion and sponsorship to enhance brand presence


High discount products sometimes perceived as low quality products in consumer minds

Solution: advertise the special with a reason for the discount.

Marginal pressure due to high real estate prices restricting the opening of more stores

The Consumer Protection Act stands to endorse a fair accessible and sustainable market for the consumer products and services.

The Consumer Protection Act, 2008. (Act No. 68 of 2008)

“To promote a fair, accessible and sustainable marketplace for consumer products and services and for that purpose to establish national norms and standards relating to consumer protection, to provide for improved standards of consumer information, to prohibit certain unfair marketing and business practices, to promote responsible consumer behavior…”

This creates boundaries and keeps businesses within the law so they can stay protected, and to prevent them from taking any action which are unethical and unlawful which could affect the company and the relationship between the consumer and the business.

Corporate Governance

This refers to the system of structures, rights, duties and obligations by which corporations are directed and controlled.

Governance is an important aspect of today’s business world as it bonds corporations and ensure a good ethical relationship is made.

Corporate governance is essential for any business to adhere to because it is set guide lines and rules which set a platform for a good business and following them can help your business become renowned and become well known.

It is important because it helps build strong relationships between customers and employees as well as competition and this can help keep a sturdy business.

The king code on corporate governance is a first of its kind, a ground breaking code that was issued by the King Committee on corporate governance.

The king code is broken down into three parts:

King code 1:

The first king code sets out to assist companies by providing a comprehensive set of principles to expand upon the common law principle of corporate governance. This code was intended to emphasis good business practice that emphasized the responsibilities of companies to all stakeholders.

King code 2:

In this king code, it aims to expand the principles mentioned in the first code.

King code 3:

In this king code there is more emphasis on sustainability, risk management, information technology, internet auditing, remuneration, alternative dispute resolution, business rescue and fundamental and affected transactions.

The king codes are essential because it helps the business in assessing how the business has both benefitted positively and how it has been negatively affected in the way the business conducts business. It helps determining how the business is intending to sustain positive aspects and to eliminate those negative aspects in the future.

Woolworths would use these king codes to help set the guide lines and a platform to create a successful system to which they abide by.

The companies act, no 71 of 2008

“To provide for the incorporation, registration, organization and management of companies, the capitalization of profit companies, and the registration of offices of foreign companies carrying on business within the Republic; to define the relationships between companies and their respective shareholders or members and directors; to provide for equitable and efficient amalgamations, mergers and takeovers of companies; to provide for efficient rescue of financially distressed companies; to provide appropriate legal redress for investors and third parties with respect to companies; to establish a Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and a Takeover Regulation Panel to administer the requirements of the Act with respect to companies, to establish a Companies Tribunal to facilitate alternative dispute resolution and to review decisions of the Commission; to establish a Financial Reporting Standards Council to advise on requirements for financial record-keeping and reporting by companies; to repeal the Companies Act, 1973 (Act No. 61 of 1973) and make amendments to the Close Corporations Act, 1984 (Act No. 69 of 1984), as necessary to provide for a consistent and harmonious regime of business incorporation and regulation; and to provide for matters connected therewith.”


Sustainable or not?

I think that the Woolworths holding limited is a very sustainable and will continue to be a very successful company. Woolworths has increased in popularity over the time it has been in existence and although it has taken a while the business has stolen the envy of many customers. Woolworths has become very successful and will continue to be.




First image retrieved from politicsinfo.co.za on April 28th at 8:51 AM

The second image taken as a screen shot from the google home search page when Woolworths South Africa is searched on 28th April at 8:53 AM - https://www.google.com/search?q=woolworths&oq=Woolworths&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#q=woolworths+south+africa&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAGOovnz8BQMDgzUHyyNGM26Blz_uCUvpTlpz8hqjOhdXcEZ-uWteSWZJpZAkFxuUxc_FK8Wpn6tvkFxZmZSlwcAj_WhK-f6pb0Q2cGW6u-_YUWDJdPkoABEWKy9YAAAA

Information about Woolworths as well as the third image came from the Woolworths website in the ‘about us’ section http://www.woolworths.co.za/store/fragments/corporate/corporate-index.jsp?content=../article/article&contentId=cmp100967