The focus of the Woolworths Group in FY18 will continue to be on our five key priorities. Our emphasis is moving from fixing the basics to leveraging team work, digital and insights to transform core business processes and improve the customer experience while sustainably reducing CODB. In the first half, we have a particular focus on improved team scheduling (right team member, right hours, right day), on-shelf availability and the roll-out of Store Pick up (for online orders).
In Australian Food, we expect the trading environment to remain competitive in the year ahead but also expect to see continued progress. However, we do not expect sales growth to continue at the same rate as achieved in Q4’17. For the first eights weeks of FY18, Australian Food comparable sales growth has been broadly in line with the FY17 second half growth rate.
FY18 will be a year of investment for New Zealand Food which will impact profit in the short-term.
Currently, we do not expect an improvement in losses at BIG W in FY18 as we continue to invest across the business to restore growth. While we expect to see a positive customer response to lower prices, better product solutions and a better customer shopping experience, it is still too soon to tell when this will translate into sales momentum and improved profitability. Our Q1’18 sales release is currently scheduled for 31 October 2017.