Woolworths celebrates Australia Day by erasing Tasmania

The offending Australia Day hat sold by Woolworths. Photo: Courtesy of Seven News Woolworths was quick to pull down its poorly thought out ‘Fresh in our Memories’ campaign, evoking Anzac images of a digger.


The public could make Arnotts buiscuit more geographically accurate if they included a large crumb.

Woolworths has managed to offend the whole of Tasmania with its latest promotional blunder – a patriotic, navy blue and red cap emblazoned with a map of Australia … without our southernmost state.

South Australian company Forewell supplied the cap for Woolworths’ Australia Day promotion but somehow the major mistake went unnoticed until a customer pointed it out to the embattled supermarket chain on social media.

Forewell did not return calls to Fairfax Media.

A red-faced Woolworths pulled the special order of about 20,000 caps off its shelves yesterday, supermarket insiders blaming the supplier for the blunder.

One source close to the supermarket suggested the fact the cap was provided by an Australian company gave Woolworths some expectation the basic details would be correct.

The basket ball cap blunder comes just two days after Woolworths chairman Gordon Cairns called it quits on Woolworths’ troubled Masters hardware chain, leaving 7000 staff facing an uncertain work future. Questions on quality control

Woolworths said it will provide “redeployment options” for the Masters employees.

Retail analyst Brian Walker said the fact the cap made it all the way to the shelf without anyone at the organisation picking up on the major mistake raised questions about Woolworths’ quality control.

“Some poor cap maker in China can’t be expected to know the size or direction of Tasmania and there should be a process of quality control within Woolworths to catch this,” Mr Walker said.

“The ultimate arbiter of quality is the customer and they will be the first to let you know when they’re unhappy.”

Erasing Tasmania is doubly embarrassing for Woolworths and its chief executive Grant O’Brien, who grew up in the tiny Tasmanian town of Penguin.

The cap is understood to be a merchandise order and not sanctioned by Woolworths’ marketing department, which was caught up in the furore over last year’s controversial Anzac Day promotion. Fresh in memories promotion remembered

The “Fresh in our Memories” campaign appeared to link the centenary of Anzac Day in 2015 with the supermarket chain’s The Fresh Food People positioning line and provoked a fiery response on social media.

The fierce criticism forced the supermarket to pull the campaign and apologise for putting the Woolworths branding on its Anzac Day material, including the picture generator, which people could use to create their own personalised Anzac Day picture as a cover page for Facebook.

One customer responded to the publicity surrounding the defective cap with a comment that Woolworths forgot Tasmania some time ago by not including it in its national Rewards program.

Tasmania has its own Frequent Shoppers Club, which is a legacy of the former Purity chain that was bought by Woolworths in the 1980s.

It’s understood Woolworths only maintained the Frequent Shoppers Club in Tasmania due to customer demand.

This is not the first time Tasmania has been left off the map. Back in 2012, Arnotts failed to endear itself to the Apple Isle by launching a commemorative Australia Day biscuit without Tasmania.