Myer sacks head office staff, outsourcing tech roles to India

(Source: Bigstock)

Department store Myer has laid off head office staff across its e-commerce and operations teams as it offshores functions to India.

A Myer employee who requested anonymity told Inside Retail that Myer’s GM of e-commerce Lynna Barnard and chief customer officer Geoff Ikin oversaw the decision to implement the redundancies, which due to their suddenness left employees shocked.

The source added that Myer did not give the employees – or even managers – any warning and that senior leaders just asked the laid off staff to come into a specified room one by one to receive the news.

Two sources told Inside Retail that 50 staff were affected by the move. Myer has confirmed redundancies took place but said the number was 13 and two more staff were “redeployed”.

“As Myer’s online ecommerce business expands we have assessed our capacity and capability requirements to support future growth,” a Myer spokesperson told Inside Retail.

“The changes to the team will enable greater access and flexibility to specialist resources, which will allow us to meet growth and drive efficiency. The decision was not taken lightly and will result in a small number of employees leaving the business. We have been successful in redeploying some roles.”

Despite Barnard initiating the decision, the source said that the GM did not take part in the difficult conversations.

Myer’s leadership also reportedly instructed the laid off employees not to communicate with stakeholders.

“The company has made efforts not to publicise the news, going as far as to paint the decision as a simple restructure to internal and external stakeholders with no intent to inform the wider company of what has happened,” Inside Retail‘s source said.

Myer denies this.

One employee was left “devastated” that about 60 per cent to 70 per cent of their team was made redundant leaving those left to pick up the workload – along with new team members in India.

In 2017, the Australian Financial Review reported that Myer slashed 50 jobs by outsourcing its contact centre and digital services functions. The company was said to have been outsourcing some of its functions as far back as 2004.

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