Aussie clothing retailer Woolworth’s is to offer a range of disposable garments to customers with a “diverse” supply of fabric sourced from across the globe.
The move comes after the Woolworth chain announced it would sell all of its Australian-made products by 2018.
The retailer, which has over 1,000 stores across the country, will also introduce a “dry-clean” service, which will give customers the option of purchasing garments at a lower price, and the option to save on their clothing purchases.
Woolworth said the “diversity” of its sourcing made it an “opportunity for us to expand our supply chain”.
“The supply chain is really important to us, it’s really important for us as a company to ensure we have a strong and strong supply chain,” Woolworth chief executive and managing director of retail operations David Lacey said.
“We recognise that a diversity of products is important to our business, we think that diversity helps drive better value for our customers and we’re looking to expand that across our range of products.”
Woolworth will offer a wide range of fabric from China, India, the US, the UK and South Africa, with the most expensive items being made in China.
Mr Lacey believes this “diversification” will help Woolworth stay relevant to consumers in a changing industry.
“As a retailer, we’re trying to drive value for customers and to continue to drive that growth by diversifying our products and sourcing in other markets,” he said.
The Woolworth service is available for customers to select from across a range that includes washing machines, clothes dryers, dry cleaners and more.
Mr and Mrs Lacey, who both live in Australia, said the service will also give them more flexibility to decide which fabric they want to use.
“I like to know what’s on the market and I don’t have to wait for the washing machine or dryer to come in to know exactly what’s available, what’s the price and the quality,” Mrs Lacy said.
Ms Smith said the new service was “really good for our staff”.
“I think it’s a great idea and it’s going to bring a little bit of convenience and some of the flexibility to the customers,” she said.
Woolies customer service team are also expected to be working with other retailers to help them with customer care, which could include providing help with returning items.
Woolie’s has been struggling in recent years with low sales of clothing and the increased cost of raw materials, including labour, in the world’s largest clothing market.
Woolen Mills and other retailers have struggled in recent months as the cost of cotton, rubber and fabric has skyrocketed and more consumers are looking for alternatives.
Mr Smith said Woolworth would offer its service in the hope that customers would return items they had purchased and return them to the retailer.
“They’ve come in with a bunch of things that they bought and they’ve said, ‘Well, you know, it was a good deal, but it was cheaper than the other option’,” he said, adding that the service was an “exciting opportunity”.
“They will also provide a service that is really good for them, they’re really good at it, and we know that they will do it to us.”
The Woolie team has also promised to “enhance our relationship with suppliers in other parts of the world, to make sure they have the best products for us”.
The service is expected to launch in the next few weeks.