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Woolworths will no longer sell Australia Day merchandise.

The supermarket giant, which also owns Big W stores, confirmed in a statement items related to January 26 will not be stocked on shelves. 

‘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 26 January and what it means to different parts of the community.

‘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.’

Woolworths dumps all Australia Day merchandise from stores nationally

Coles will continue to sell Australia Day merchandise.

‘We are stocking a small range of Australian-themed summer entertaining merchandise throughout January which is popular with our customers for sporting events such as the cricket and tennis, as well as for the Australia Day weekend,’ the spokesperson said. 

Australia Day, observed each year on January 26, marks the landing of the First Fleet in 1788 when the first governor of the British colony of New South Wales, Arthur Philip, hoisted the Union Jack at Sydney Cove. 

But, for many First Nations people, it is regarded as ‘Invasion Day’ or the ‘Day of Mourning’.

The growing uneasiness around the national holiday is perhaps best summed up by the government-owned National Australia Day Council.   

‘For some, Australia Day is a day to celebrate all the opportunities provided by living in a free, multicultural society,’ it wrote in its 2022 annual report. 

‘For others it is a chance to reflect on their own citizenship and what it means to be Australian. And for many, 26 January represents a day of sadness, mourning and reminder of colonisation.’ 

More to come 

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