Is the Woolworths Australian ship going down under?

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At the turn of the year, Woolworths announced the resignation of former CEO Ian Moir after a turbulent few years in which the Cape Town-based company was weighed down by the acquisition of David Jones in Australia as part of his stated strategy to make it the largest retailer in the southern hemisphere.

Now some six years after buying the chain in a market that has seen significant structural changes and a Covid-19 pandemic that is only set to further disrupt both its Australian and local business by e-commerce, investors are now urging a possible exit from the market.

Tasked with reviving Woolworths' Australian operations ahead of results that are expected show a 70% drop in earnings for the 52 weeks to end June is Roy Bagattini, the former executive at Levi Strauss & Company, who took over after Moir's almost decade in the role.

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