Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Thirty Big W stores to close

Woolworths will close approximately 30 Big W stores over the next three years, following a review of the chain’s 183 stores, reports ABC News.

Two distribution centres in regional Queensland and South Australia will also be closed.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said the store closures would help boost the profitability of the remaining Big W stores. However, in an analyst briefing on 1 April, Banducci didn’t rule out selling the Big W brand.

‘As foreshadowed at our half year 2019 results, while the recovery in trading for Big W is encouraging and there remains further opportunity for improvement, the speed of conversion to earnings improvement is taking longer than planned,’ said Banducci.

‘This decision will lead to a more robust and sustainable store and distribution centre network that better reflects the rapidly changing retail environment.’

Big W posted a loss of $110 million last financial year and $8 million in the first half of 2018-19, however the retailer also generated sales growth of 0.9% in the 2017-18 financial year, something the business had not been able to do in almost 10 years.

As previously reported in Books+Publishing, Macquarie Wealth Management had speculated that 60 stores would close.



Category: Local news