SYDNEY, AAP – Woolworths will write-down the value of 13 of its CBD stores by about $50 million as they struggle for sales with fewer office workers nearby.
The supermarket giant mentioned the charge while flagging its full-year earnings were likely to include a $57 million pre-tax net gain from significant items.
The retailer has reviewed its Metro Food Stores in view of many surrounding office workers, who contribute greatly to sales, working from home due to the coronavirus.
Woolworths said sales in these locations continued to be impacted.
There were 72 Metro stores and 996 supermarkets across Australia as of April 4.
Chief executive Brad Banducci said the company remained committed to the smaller format having refined their range in recent years.
“However, the changing customer work and shopping patterns we have seen over the last 15 months have negatively impacted some of our stores, particularly in CBD and transit locations,” he said.
He said most Metro stores were in locations not impacted by fewer customers.
The full-year earnings are due on August 26.
The company reported surging sales last year as many shoppers stocked up on goods in fear of coronavirus lockdowns.
Shares were down 1.66 per cent to $42.63 at 1148 AEST amid a wider market downturn.