Woolworths: 1924 onwards
Although we now know Coles and Woolworths (and previously Safeway; absorbed into Woolworth in 2008) as supermarkets, they were originally variety stores. The move into food retailing occurred during the post WW2 years, but the selling of household items such as haberdashery continues to this day.
Woolworths was started by five men, H.P. Christmas, S.E. Chatterton, C. Scott Waine, G.W.P Creed and E. R. Williams. Haberdashery was sold from the beginning, with cards of buttons advertised in newspapers from 1930.
Variety/bargain stores such as Coles and Woolworths had done well, even through the Great Depression:
The war limited supply of good, but it was reported that this was easing in March 1946. They then controlled over 100 stores. By 1956 they had over 200 stores, and by 1967 they had nearly 1000 stores, employing nearly 30,000 Australian and New Zealanders.
Like Coles, they invested in home brands. The first, in 1928, was simply called Woolworths’. Later came Chevron, St Mark’s, Tania, Grandway, and Home Brand.
They now sell Korbond brand haberdashery. Korbond Industries Pty. Ltd. is an Australian firm, founded in Sydney in 1956, specialising in the manufacture and distribution of haberdashery.
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