David Jones is to SLASH the size of its department stores as its profits nosedive during Australia’s retail apocalypse
Department store giant David Jones plans to slash 31,000 square metres of floor space in the next two years as profits continue to plummet.
The struggling South African-owned retailer’s half-year profit nose-dived by more than 50 per cent in the second 26 weeks of 2019 up until December 29.
The reduction in store footprint is part a longer goal to cut its 486,000 square metres of floor space by 20 per cent within five years.
The number of store closures it would involve is yet to be revealed.
Acting chief executive Ian Moir said the recent national bushfire disaster has had a devastating impact in the last ‘sad and difficult’ few months.
The news came on the same day Colette by Colette Hayman announced it will close a quarter of all its stores within weeks after the popular handbag retailer went into administration earlier this month.
Dropping like flies: Some of Australia’s recent retail casualties
2016: Dick Smith, Masters hardware, Payless Shoes
2017: Topshop Australia
2018: Avon, Espirit, Toys ‘R’ Us, Max Brenner, Roger David
2019: Ed Harry, Diana Ferrari, Napoleon Perdis, Ziera, Bardot, Harris Scarfe
2020: EB Games, Colette by Colette Hayman
Earlier, Mr Moir said he’d made inroads on reducing store footprint since vowing to ‘get aggressive’ with landlords.
‘We’re reaching good agreements with our key landlords. I think there’s a realisation that retail is changing, and we’ve all got to face into that change,’ Mr Moir told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘There’s been good debate on how we reduce space where we need to, good debate about how we come to the party together on capital contribution. It’s a good robust discussion that we’re having with all of our landlords.’
Australia’s retail apocalypse has also claimed retailers Harris Scarfe, Bardot, Roger David, EB Games and Napoleon Perdis in the last year.
Experts have claimed consumers are now turning to online shopping over bricks and mortar stores.
Australian retail growth is at its worst level since the early 1990s recession and international giants like Amazon and Aldi threaten to make life even more difficult for local brands.
Harris Scarfe, founded in 1849, took consumers by surprise when it entered administration in December and is now about to close at least 21 stores.
Days later the country’s sixth-largest wine company McWilliam’s Wine, which has been around for 140 years, announced it had appointed voluntary administrators.
Popular video game chain EB Games was next, with the business announcing the closure of 19 stores across Australia in early January.
Major fashion chain Bardot also announced plans to close 58 stores nationwide before March.