- David Jones is slashing 120 jobs across Australia, including 30 from its head office and 90 more from its retail outlets.
- It comes as the department store cuts costs after a woeful second-half result that saw profits plunge 39%.
- David Jones isn’t alone, as Australian retailers of all stripes continue to struggle, including discount store Big W which intends to shut as many as 30 stores over the next three years.
Department store David Jones has been forced to let go of 120 employees in a bid to cut costs to help stay afloat, with company half-year profits down almost 40% at the end of 2018. It’s not made any easier by the fact that the Australian retail sector is under intense pressure as Australians spend less.
Thirty jobs will disappear from Melbourne’s head office while 90 more will go from regional stores. At least 28 jobs of those look to be cut from its Wollongong store, as staff enter redundancy talks, according to the Illawarra Mercury.
While David Jones has said it will do its best to redeploy workers, one told the publication that employees with up to 30 years experience were being offered jobs as far away as Western Australia.
“They’re not actually offering you another job – they’ve got some pages of jobs you can apply for in the David Jones-Country Road group, but they’re in Sydney, Western Australia, all over,” the worker reportedly said.
A spokesperson for David Jones said the decision was not made lightly.
“They reflect our strong focus on cost at a challenging time for retail, and will enable continued investment and innovation in-store and online as we further enhance our multi-channel customer experience,” they said in a statement issued to Business Insider Australia.
“We have prioritised redeployment options where possible and are now focussed on assisting impacted team members with transitional support.”
David Jones’ retail employees are not the first casualties suffered at the embattled retailer. Even its CEOs haven’t been immune from changes, with South-African owner Woolworths (no relation to the Aussie supermarket) swapping bosses four times in just five years.
It comes at the same time that discount store Big W announces it intends to close as many as 30 stores over the next three years, amid a “rapidly changing retail environment”.
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