Woolworths' almost wonderful world

Bar hardware, Grant O'Brien's tinkering has swung Woolworths to a decisively better place, with earnings growing, return on funds improving, expansion costs peaking and online flowing.

About two years ago, when Grant O’Brien outlined his strategic vision for Woolworths, it was neither bold nor radical, but rather a broad series of modest tweaks to businesses that had lost their competitive edge rather than their way. If the teething pains from Woolworths’ costly excursion into hardware could be excluded, he’d be very comfortable that the group is on track to deliver what he promised.

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