Big W bombshell: TikToker lifts the lid on what name stands for

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·2-min read

The country’s very first Big W opened in Tamworth in 1976 and today there are 182 stores across Australia. The meaning behind the store’s name, however, remains a mystery to many — what does the ‘w’ in Big W actually stand for?

In a video he shared over the weekend, Melbourne TikTokker Toby Rozario was shocked to discover that the ‘w’ stands for Woolworths as the major supermarket owns the Big W brand.

A Melbourne TikTokker was shocked to find out what the name really means. Photo: TikTok/tobyrozario.
A Melbourne TikTokker was shocked to find out what the name really means. Photo: TikTok/tobyrozario.

In the clip, Toby reacts in disbelief to a man wearing a Woolworths Metro uniform who makes the claim until a quick Google search reveals the truth.

“What? My life has been a lie!” he gasps.

Fellow TikTok users were in a similar state of surprise following the revelation.

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“I have been thinking it was Aussie Walmart,” one admitted.

“I refuse to believe it,” another declared.

One had a cheeky dig at Woolies for the “lack of originality” in choosing the Big W name.

“Wait a minute, does that mean the ‘k’ in Kmart stands for something, too?” wondered another.

Big W storefront with two customers exiting the store
Do you know what the 'w' in Big W stands for? Photo: Getty Images.

How did Big W get its name?

The origin story behind Big W’s name is pretty straightforward. Woolworths originally owned ‘Variety’ stores which carried a small range of general merchandise.

They saw a niche in the market for discount items and opened a Big W — W standing for Woolworths — to show customers where the shop had originated from.

Today, Big W employs 18,000 staff throughout Australia, Hong Kong and Bangladesh but unfortunately was forced to close 30 stores in 2019 in order to make the chain viable.

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