Here is what’s next for Woolworths checkout aisles

High-end food retailer Woolworths says it has completed the first phase of an initiative to remove sweets and chocolates from the checkout aisles of new and large format stores.

“All the sweets and chocolates in the checkout aisles in 104 stores have been replaced with better snacking options. This is more than initially committed as it includes a number of medium and small stores over and above new and large format stores,”the listed company said in a statement on Thursday.

“These stores represent 50% of total Woolworths sweets and chocolate sales and include our Canal Walk, Constantia, Sandton, Tygervalley, Gateway, Hazeldean, and Eastgate stores, to name a few,”

As part of the initial announcement in August, Woolworths said it committed to engage with customers on what alternative snack options they would like to see in the checkout aisles.

Based on customer feedback and initial research groups, the sweets and chocolates have been replaced with options including dried fruit, biltong, and nuts.

Woolworths said it will seek further customers engagement to evaluate the alternatives that are placed in the checkout aisles going forward.

As the next step in this journey, Woolworths said it plans to implement the change in an additional 62 stores in South Africa and Africa by the end of June next year, representing 70% of total Woolworths sweets and chocolate sales and 50% of all stores.

This means that 166 stores will have sweets and chocolates removed from checkout aisles by June 2016, with the remaining stores to be completed in a phased approach over the course of 2016/2017.

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Here is what’s next for Woolworths checkout aisles