Woolworths follows Kmart with major Australia Day decision

While the supermarket giant has put a stop to Australia Day merchandise, Coles will continue to sell a 'small range'.

Woolworths has announced it will not sell any Australia Day merchandise across its stores, following in the footsteps of Kmart which has also called an end on its January 26 celebratory products.

The Woolworths Group also confirmed Big W would cease selling such products, however Australia flags remain a year-round product across its stores.

"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," a spokesperson said in a statement shared with Yahoo News Australia.

Australia Day revellers at The Rocks in Sydney. Source: Getty
Australia Day merchandise is gradually on the decline. Source: Getty

"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."

Australia Day has become an increasingly contentious day in the calendar, with growing support for the date to be changed. January 26 marks the day Britain's First Fleet landed in 1788, and in turn, began the oppression of Indigenous Australians. Many Australians argue it is not a day to be celebrated and is instead a day for mourning.

While Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has not indicated he intends to change the date, there are a growing number of councils and state governments cancelling traditional Australia Day activities such as citizenship ceremonies.

A man stands with a Woolworths trolley
Woolworths shoppers will no longer be able to buy Australia Day items in store. Source: Getty

Woolworths follows Kmart's Australia Day decision last year

Last year Kmart announced it would not be selling Australia Day products to ensure it was "inclusive" to all.

In a move introduced last year, Woolworths will also allow its staff to work the Australia Day public holiday if desired. "We think it's up to each team member to mark the day as it suits them," the supermarket previously said.

Coles, however, has confirmed it will continue to stock a limited range of Australia Day products.

"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," a spokesperson told Yahoo.

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