David Jones exiting FMCG categories, weening itself off sales events

By Patrick Avenell

David Jones is exiting several fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) categories and cutting back on discounting to increase its focus on higher-margin categories such as fashion and cosmetics. CEO Paul Zahra revealed this news while reporting slight declines in sales and profit for the first half of the 2013 financial year.

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In the six months to 26 January 2013, which included the all-important Christmas period, sales revenue at David Jones was $1,005 million, down 0.7 per cent on the corresponding period of the previous year. Like for like sales was unchanged due to no fluctuation in the number of David Jones stores during this period.

Unlike in previous years, when the department stores held sales after Christmas, David Jones engaged in pre-Christmas sales in December 2012, driving down prices in competition with rival chain Myer. Zahra said in his forecast notes that David Jones would be concentrating on a “continued reduction in [the] depth and breadth of promotion discounting events”.

To further maximise profitability, David Jones is exiting the music, DVD and gaming categories.

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