Supermarket giant Woolworths Group has opted for a City-fringe address to house its media, creative and digital businesses under one roof to create an innovation hub.
It will consolidate the staff within the Seidler Surry Hills building at 372 Elizabeth Street. The Woolworths Group national support office will remain in Bella Vista in Sydney’s north-west.
Designed by architect Harry Seidler, the Surry Hills building will house Woolworths digital arm WooliesX, creative agency Greenhouse, powered by M&C Saatchi, media business Cartology, and the newly created BIGWX.
The 3789 square metre site, built in 1999, is adjacent to the current WooliesX offices at 407 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills.
Consolidating the businesses into a single innovation a hub reflects the increased use of technology being used by shoppers as people work from home and order groceries online.
There has been a corresponding rise for companies to seek city fringe and suburban locations as they operate a “hub and spoke” model, allowing staff to work closer to home but remain connected to the head office.
Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci said the move marks the next phase of growth for the supermarket giant which requires a different way of thinking and working.
“Our aspiration is to create a centre of excellence for digital delivery and creative brand development under one roof and the establishment of an innovation hub at the Seidler Surry Hills will help us deliver on it,” Mr Banducci said.
The move signals a digital-first creative approach for the company and will ensure teams leading brand and creative for the group will be better connected to those delivering industry leading innovation in online retailing.
Mr Banducci said on average more than 16.1 million customers visit Woolworths’ websites and apps each week, and increasingly customers use the group’s digital platforms for food and product inspiration, as well as more personalised, effortless and connected experiences.
Woolworths’ lease comes as Simon Hunt, managing director of office leasing at Colliers International, said that in August alone the office leasing team nationally transacted 69 deals for more than 40,000 sq m of office space across the City and suburbs.
“The August statistic is the highest monthly result since February 2020 when 69 deals transacted across 36,000 sq m, with March recording a similar result of 61 deals across some larger transactions totalling 46,000 sq m,” Mr Hunt said.
“Even with the need for working from home and social distancing, the office is clearly not dead. We know smart businesses are still considering how their office space will play a critical role in the return to work of their people.”