David Jones is cutting 120 jobs from its head office and suburban store network as the department chain refocuses its investment on digital and online retail.
The upmarket retail giant confirmed on Friday it will slash 30 jobs from its Melbourne head office, and another 90 from its regional and suburban stores as it seeks to slim down amid a changing retail landscape.
No jobs are scheduled to be cut from David Jones stores in the Sydney or Melbourne CBD.
A spokesperson said the redundancies were a small percentage of the company’s 14,000-strong workforce.
“These changes will not impact our customer experience in any way and are primarily focused on a limited number of stores, where we have plans to optimise and change our offering including through right-sizing store footprints and more focused store curation,” the spokesperson said.
David Jones – which was bought by South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings in 2014 for $2.2 billion – has endured a tough few years, including a writedown of $712.5 million in 2018 due to the economic challenges facing the retail industry, and intense competition and promotions by rivals.
Former chief executive David Thomas resigned in February after just 18 months in the role, citing personal reasons.
Sales for the last full financial year fell 0.4 per cent on a comparable stores basis, but comparable sales rose 0.9 per cent in the first half of FY19.
Major competitor Myer has also been in the doldrums but reported a $38.4 million first-half profit and in March said it had reduced its debt by a third, as it works to stabilise its once-precarious financial position.