Retail in Asia

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Woolworths chairman Gordon Cairns vows retail repair

He’s the Scot who just sold David Jones to the Woolworths South Africa for AUD2.1 billion.

Now former brewing boss Gordon Cairns, as chair of the Australian Woolworths chain, has to sell a tough turnaround story to sceptical shareholders and penny-pinching shoppers.

Cairns will formally replace outgoing chairman Ralph Waters on Tuesday marking the start of a new chapter for the troubled retail giant and its battered retail brands. He tells Fairfax Media the number one priority for the board would be finding a new chief executive for the "iconic" business.