Woolworths is cutting more than 1300 jobs.
Woolworths is cutting more than 1300 jobs.

Woolies axing more than 1300 jobs

More than 1300 jobs are being slashed at Woolworths.

The workers will be made redundant as the company invests in automated distribution centres.

Woolworths today announced plans to develop an automated regional distribution centre and a semi-automated national distribution centre at Moorebank Logistics Park in Sydney.

The facilities will replace the current grocery operations at the Sydney Regional Distribution Centre at Minchinbury, Sydney National Distribution Centre at Yennora and Melbourne National Distribution Centre at Mulgrave.

As a result, 515 jobs will be cut at Minchinbury, 540 at Yennora and 298 at Mulgrave, 7 News reports.

While 650 jobs will be opened up at the new centres, due to be completed by the end of 2023, 1350 workers will be made redundant by 2025.


Woolworths is cutting more than 1300 jobs.
Woolworths is cutting more than 1300 jobs.

Woolworths chief supply chain officer Paul Graham said customers would benefit from improved product quality, an expanded range and better availability as the site's cutting-edge technology allowed for faster, safer and more efficient deliveries to stores year-round.

"The investment at Moorebank will transform the way we serve our NSW stores, strengthen our network and deliver on our ambition to create Australia's best food and grocery supply chain," he said.

"Cutting-edge automation will build tailored pallets for specific aisles in individual stores - helping us improve on-shelf product availability with faster restocking, reducing congestion in stores, and enabling a safer work environment for our teams with less manual handling.

"The new facilities will also help progress our localised ranging efforts, with the ability to hold many thousands more products centrally than we can in our existing facilities."

It comes as the company expects full year earnings could be 2.7 per cent lower after it outlined one-off charges worth $591 million for restructuring and staff underpayments and incurs additional costs related to COVID-19.

The retail giant said it expected full year earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to be in the range of $3.2 billion to $3.25 billion, compared to $3.29 billion last year.

The biggest hit will be sustained in its Endeavour Group hotels and drinks business, with earnings expected to slide more than 50 per cent to between $160 million and $170 million, as venues stayed shut on account of coronavirus lockdowns.

It will also incur costs of $230 million towards restructure of the Endeavour business, which it originally planned to de-merge this year but deferred due to the COVID pandemic.

Woolworths earnings will also be impacted by close to $275 million in incremental costs in the June quarter, related to COVID-19 for store hygiene, social distancing and supply chain flexibility.

The company will report full year results on August 27.

The retailer has further outlined $185 million to reimburse staff underpaid over nearly a decade.

The total cost of unpaid staff wages has now blown out to $390 million after the company identified underpayments to employees in its hotels division in 2018 and 2019.


- with AAP