Flagging poor performance of its retail stores across Australia and losses registered in the financial year 2015-16, Big W plans to slash down more than 180 jobs across the country.
According to a statement made by the spokesperson for Big W, ABC News reports, the company plans to combine two managerial positions into a single role for every retail store in Australia. This means to say that those in the managerial cadre of the Big W brand stores across Australia are at risk of job loss.
Adding that a review is currently underway and company plans to make some changes to the poor performance, the spokesperson added, “It’s a challenging time for the retail market.”
“Big W has asked managers to ensure that their staff hours are aligned with peak customer shopping times.” This could mean some stores would be operating long hours over the weekend or might work late evenings depending on the demand from shoppers.
As recently, in a move to improve operations, Sally Macdonald, CEO, Big W dismissed about 40 buyers and assistant buyers from its head office, as part of restructuring its overseas sourcing operations. The move aims to reduce costs and increase earnings, Appliance Retailer reports.
Furthermore, the direct sourcing operations in Hong Kong of Big W has been separated from Woolworths’ food and grocery sourcing operations and Jeff Vickery will now be heading the quality, sourcing and production facility of the group’s direct sourcing channels.
Commenting on the decision, Macdonald said, “Necessary team adjustments have been made across our business to ensure we are choosing and creating the best brands and products for our customers.”
“While buyer numbers have been reduced, we are in the process of recruiting more than 30 new designers across fashion, industrial, graphic and digital to form a centralised and rejuvenated design team,” Macdonald told Fairfax media.
According to reports, the company has been seeking new sources of supply and has recently been in the process of setting up a strong sourcing team in Bangladesh and China to supplement the Hong Kong’s direct sourcing operations.
“Big W is transitioning to a direct-sourcing model for our own brand business and we are working closely with any affected local suppliers and product agents to ensure a smooth and fair transition. We will honour all our contractual commitments,” Macdonald added.