Woolworth’s Mini Supermarkets Program Expands to Help More Students, People with Special Needs

Woolworths’ mini-market program is expanding to schools across the country to help students and people with jobs.

The supermarket chain redoubled its commitment to helping others through its program by opening 25 of its specialty stores in states and territories by June 2023.

Woolworth's Mini Supermarkets Program Expands to Help More Students, People with Special Needs

Each mini supermarket replicates a usual Woolworths store with fresh food baskets, supermarket shelves, a fully operational cash register, and the staff uniform.

Students use fully operational Fujitsu registries and learn how to scan groceries, process cash, and process sales, as well as customer service skills.

Team members from local Woolworths supermarkets assist with registration training and setting up each store.

Camera IconWoolworths is expanding its mini-grocery program across the country. Dallas Kilponen/Woolworths Credit: NCA NewsWireCamera Icon An additional 25 stores will open under the expansion. Delivered/Woolworths Credit: NCA NewsWire

The major retailer first launched the program at St Edmund’s College, Castle Hill, in 2018 and has since established 11 more.

Since its launch, the program has been used by more than 1,000 students and candidates, built into school curricula or used as a credit identifier in TAFE retail certification courses.

It has also successfully placed applicants from Omnia Inclusive Solutions in work experience positions at nearby Woolworths supermarkets in NSW and Queensland.

Camera IconThe program aims to help students and people with special needs with social accessibility and employment. Delivered/Woolworths Credit: NCA NewsWireCamera IconEach mini store has shelves, fresh produce baskets, and fully working POS systems. Delivered/Woolworths Credit: NCA NewsWire

The national expansion was announced when the most recent Mini Woolies opened at Clarke Road School in Hornsby.

Built into a storage unit at the school, the team replanted an outdoor fruit and vegetable garden so students could learn the importance of harvesting fresh produce.

Director Rebecca Saunders said the Mini Woolworths store provided a real experience for students and would help them build skills in sorting, categorizing, communicating, independence, and using money in a real context to buy goods.

“The Mini Woolworths store would allow our students to practice their communication skills, exchanging money for goods in a safe and familiar environment before moving to the wider community,” she said.

Camera, IconThe most recent Mini Woolies, has opened at Clarke Road School in Hornsby. Delivered/Woolworths Credit: NCA NewsWire

Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Natalie Davis said the company had received a positive community response to the program from students, applicants, parents, teachers, and directors.

“Inclusion plays an important role within the Woolworths Group; We look forward to expanding the program to every state and territory in Australia and continuing our partnership with Fujitsu to enable this and create better experiences for a better future.”

Fujitsu’s Graeme Beardsell said the company believed in using technology to create a society where all people can fully participate.

“We are delighted to be working with Woolworths on the Mini Woolworths program and to have the opportunity and privilege to enrich students’ lives,” he said.

“We look forward to expanding the program to reach even morenationwide studentsy.”

For more information, visit the Woolworths website.

Lori J. Kile
I love to write and create. I love photography, design, travel and art. I am a full time freelance writer and photographer.I am very excited to be creating new content and opportunities for my readers.