David Jones chief outlines turnaround strategy

‘We will get this right’.

CEO of Woolworths Holdings Limited, parent company of David Jones, Ian Moir shared his determination to revive the David Jones business after the department store delivered a 3.8% fall in sales and 38% dive in operating profit.

“We have got to get this fixed. We are very clear on this and we are very determined. We are fighters not quitters and we will get this right,” Moir told investors.

In July 2017, David Jones launched new merchandise and finance systems to allow better buying and planning decisions. Moir said it is making a big difference to our business and the department store now has new teams working on new systems. “It is allowing us to operate as a real retailer. We have see-through to stock, we have see-through to profitability and we have automated replenishment. We need to be able to compete in what is a very competitive market.”

Furthermore, David Jones will launch a new website in April 2018 and expects to deliver online sales of 10% by 2020. “Online sales experienced growth of 21%, representing circa 6% of total sales in Q2. Our new platform will allow us to transform the digital experience.”

Another key factor in the company’s turnaround is footprint, according to Moir. “We want to optimise our real estate footprint. By 2020, we will have a further space reduction of 13% as we really need to bring the size of the stores down and remove underperforming floor space.

“Our new Australian head office in Melbourne is expected to drive synergies and efficiencies totalling about $20 million. It will unlock efficiencies in supply chain, non-trade procurement, facilities management and discretionary costs. We are focused on being as lean as we can be.”

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