David Jones reports sales slump as Sydney store refurbishment takes toll


Chief executive Ian Moir said in August its online sales were “much more” profitable than its in-store sales, but dismissed the proposition of the company becoming online-only.

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Country Road Group, also owned by South African parent company Woolworths Holdings, saw its total sales drop sharply, down 4.7 per cent, and like-for-like sales also decline 0.7 per cent.

The group owns fashion labels Country Road, Politix, Mimco, Trenery and Witchery, with their exit from being stocked by competing department store Myer blamed for the drop.

It announced the departure last year and finished the extraction in September, with hopes the move will increase Country Road Group’s margins in the long run despite affecting profits in the medium term.

Online sales for the group also grew healthily, up 7.7 per cent to represent 19.5 per cent of total sales.

David Jones has been in the wars over the past two years with the company suffering $1.1 billion in impairments over the past two years, claiming the local market is “currently in recession”.

Mr Moir also pledged to reduce the company’s store footprint by 20 per cent by either shrinking or shutting stores across the country.

“You have to create partnerships with some landlords and take a more aggressive stance with other landlords, but we are absolutely focused on getting our space down,” he said in August.

The company is also parting ways with its six-storey menswear store in Melbourne’s Bourke St, a sale expected to fetch the retailer some $500 million.



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