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Woolworths earmarks Big W stores for closure

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
19 July 2019 1 minute readShare
Big W

Woolworths has reaffirmed its commitment to close dozens of Big W stores across Australia, and has now revealed the first three of these stores will close for good in January.

In a statement to the ASX, Woolworths Group said that as part of the store closures announced in April this year, it has negotiated with landlords to close three of its store in six months’ time.

Under the agreements reached, the stores at Chullora, Auburn and Fairfield — all in Sydney’s western suburbs — will close in January 2020. They will continue to trade as normal until that time, the retail giant said.

In announcing the closures, Big W managing director David Walker said the decisions were not taken lightly.

“We regret the impact the closures will have on affected team members,” he said.

“We would like to acknowledge the support of the communities of Chullora, Auburn and Fairfield, and the hard work and commitment of our store team members.”

Mr Walker added that the retailer will look at options to redeploy impacted employees.

“Supporting our team remains our priority and we are committed to doing the right thing by them,” he said.

“Over the next six months, we will support our team and explore redeployment opportunities with team members who choose to continue their career at Big W or with other Woolworths Group brands in the months ahead.”

Woolworths said that it will continue to liaise with the landlords of stores earmarked for closure under its network review over the coming months.

Under the previously announced plans, Big W will close its distribution centres at Warwick in Queensland and Monarto in South Australia over the next three years, in addition to the closure of approximately 30 stores nationally. That amounts to around 16 per cent of its national store network.

The scaling back of its network was unveiled in response to the difficult trading conditions affecting the retail sector more broadly.

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Woolworths earmarks Big W stores for closure
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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