The 2016 Corporate Reputation Index has been released, with Woolworths suffering the biggest dent to its reputation of any corporation surveyed.
The study, undertaken by research consultants AMR in conjunction with the Reputation Institute, measured the overall reputation of 60 Australian companies and seven individual drivers that contribute products and services, innovation, workplace, citizenship, governance, leadership and financial performance, and ranked them accordingly.
The research showed that JB Hi-Fi had the best reputation of the companies measured, while Woolworths saw an overall drop from 17th in 2015 to 40th in the 2016 edition. AMR said the change could be attributed to public awareness of financial issues, including the future of the Masters brand, teamed with ongoing public discussion about whether it was losing the battle against Coles and ALDI.
“Woolworths has really struggled in the individual measurements of leadership and financial performance in particular this year,” AMR’s Managing Director Oliver Freedman said.
“In the past, its overall financial performance helped maintain a strong reputation, but once this started to decline there was not enough reputational capital to avoid a very large loss of trust among the Australian public.”
Rivals ALDI (seventh) and Wesfarmers group, which includes Coles (18th), were ensconced well ahead of Woolworths.
7-Eleven fell 20 places to rank 56th overall following its pay scandal. Mr Freedman said given its reputation prior to the issue, a crisis of the magnitude faced recently is expected to have an immediate effect, and one that may be long lasting.