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Integration Of Woolworths New Zealand On Track

Foodland Associated Limited Group Managing Director, Mr Trevor Coates, today reported that the integration of FAL’s newly acquired Woolworths New Zealand business had commenced in earnest. “The senior management teams are now fully integrated,” said Mr Coates. “Progressive’s Managing Director Mr Ted Van Arkel has retained direct responsibility for the merchandising, grocery wholesaling and administrative support functions of the expanded group which include information technology, human resources, finance and administration” he continued.

Also reporting to Mr Van Arkel as Chief Operating Officer is Mr Richard Umbers who joined Progressive in May this year. “Mr Umbers, who was formerly a Divisional Managing Director with ALDI in the United Kingdom, has direct responsibility for store operations, property, supply, home shopping, the Gull petrol retailing joint venture, fresh foods and marketing” said Mr Coates.

In other developments the staff of the human resources, information technology, finance and administration and property departments have been merged and relocated to common premises.

Integration of information technology applications for point of sale, warehouse management, merchandising, finance and local area networks is now underway. “Preparations for the process of merging IT functions were in place before the acquisition was completed,” said Mr Coates.

Mr Coates continued “Last week we brought together 950 representatives of New Zealand’s supplier community to present to them our vision for the future. We are confident that centralising the purchasing and distribution of grocery products will produce a more competitive shopping environment for our customers and a more efficient supermarket industry for suppliers and ourselves.

We are now in the process of evaluating the individual branding of the 153 supermarkets in our store network. We intend consulting extensively with our customers through market research and focus groups before final decisions are made” he said.

“We know that our customers will be watching for improvements in the value of the offer we make to them and that the market will be expecting confirmation proof that the synergy extraction process is proceeding as planned. We don’t intend to disappoint them,” concluding Mr Coates.

Ends

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