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Woolworths + Big W Have Canned Their Australia Day Merch

10 January 2024 | 4:03 pm | Jessie Lynch

"There’s been broader discussion about January 26 and what it means to different parts of the community."


Woolworths (Flickr/Canva)

Woolworths Group, which also owns Big W, has just announced that they won't be stocking any special Australia Day merchandise in 2024, save for the national flag which remains available year-round.

“There has been a gradual decline in demand for Australia Day merchandise from our stores over recent years. At the same time there’s been broader discussion about January 26 and what it means to different parts of the community,” a spokesperson said.

“We know many people like to use this day as a time to get together and we offer a huge variety of products to help customers mark the day as they choose.”

“Woolworths and Big W celebrate the best of Australia every day, and we’re proud to support the farmers, producers, and suppliers who work with us,” they added.

Interestingly, even though Woolworths and Big W are stepping back from physical stores, Australia Day-themed products are still accessible through My Deal, an online platform affiliated with the Woolworths Group, collaborating with third-party retailers.

The decision by Woolworths Group comes at a time when over 80 local councils across Australia have chosen to abandon traditional citizenship ceremonies on January 26. The shift gained momentum following the Albanese government's decision in December 2022 to revoke the rule compelling local councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day.

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It comes following Kmart’s choice to cease selling Australia Day products as of last year, saying they wanted to ensure they were “inclusive and respectful” to all.

“At Kmart, we do not sell any merchandise that is specific to Australia Day,” a company spokesperson told 7NEWS at the time.

“However, customers who shop with us can find a number of products year-round that feature Australiana designs with Australian animals, flora and fauna, as well as educational materials.”

“We respect that the 26th of January means different things to different people and we aim to foster an environment that is inclusive and respectful of both our customers and teams. It is for this reason that we will also be giving all of our team members the choice of whether or not they work that day, with the option to substitute for another day.”