Australian retail giant Woolworths is to spend A$20m (US$12.1m) on opening new stores and refurbishing existing stores in Western Australia (WA) in 2003/04.

Woolworths has already invested around $500m in Western Australia through its 111 Woolworths supermarkets, Plus Petrol outlets and Liquor, BIG W and Dick Smith/tandy stores, reported Asia Pulse.

CEO Roger Corbett said the company was hopeful that the current Ministerial review of trading hours in the state would produce a more liberal trading environment.

“We are confident that our WA customers would enjoy (as do our customers in most other states and in the deregulated areas of WA) the benefits of late night, seven day trading.”

“Employment in our businesses would also increase with longer trading hours, evidenced by the 500 extra people we have employed in Tasmania since deregulation last year,” Corbett was quoted by Asia Pulse as saying.

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