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David Jones latest major retailer to reduce its ranks

David Jones’ announcement late last week that it will cut 120 jobs from its head office and suburban store network is the latest example of a national retailer shedding staff to cut costs.

The upmarket department store chain confirmed it is slashing 30 head office positions, along with 90 regional and suburban store associates, after reporting a 0.8 per cent decrease in sales in FY19

“These changes will not impact our customer experience in any way and are primarily focused on a limited number of stores, where we have plans to optimise and change our offering including through right-sizing store footprints and more focused store curation,” a David Jones spokesperson told AAP

The move follows similar reshuffles by category rival Myer, as well as supermarkets Coles, which have both shed high level workers in the past year in an effort to reduce costs and further funnel investment into online and customer convenience to combat slowing consumer spending and confidence. 

Myer has cut over 80 staff in the last year, with over 30 executive positions cut last August, and a further 50 store management and support staff axed in March. 

“We have to place the customer first, in every decision we make and every action we take,” a Myer spokesperson said. 

“As a result of this, a number of administrative and management roles will be leaving the business to align our structure more closely with our customers.”

Similarly, Coles is shedding over 400 jobs as part of a three-year program aimed at cost reduction in order to combat “tough times ahead”.

“The next five years are going to be the toughest we have faced as a company and the toughest the industry will face,” Coles chief executive Steven Cain told investors at the businesses first investor day in June, adding that a “flexible approach” is needed to manage a fragmenting consumer base.  

“The biggest challenge is ensuring Coles moves faster than the competition.”

David Jones has been contacted for comment. 

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