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Big W Closures: 30 Stores Across Oz Set To Shut

Department chain Big W has become the latest victim of Australia’s slowing retail sector, as it prepares to close 30 stores across the country.

The revelation comes after embattled retailer Harris Scarfe is up for sale from other major players in the field, including Myers. Audio company Bose has also shut down all of its Australian stores, with EB Games exiting 19 malls.

The first three stores that will shut for good in the coming days are located in Auburn and two others around Chullora and Fairfield. But it’s expected up to 30 more will also close.

General view of a BIG W department store in Brisbane, Tuesday, April 1, 2019. Woolworths will close about underperforming 30 Big W stores and two distribution centres over the next three years after increasing numbers of shoppers took their business online. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) 

The retailer is attempting to turn around a near $85 million loss after strong competition from other retail giants like Kmart, Target and H&M.

Close to 90 staff members in each store are also going to be impacted, with an additional $370 million dent in the company’s profits from the closures.

Woolworths Group, owners of Big W, are still yet to identify the remaining 27 branches that will close just 10 months after announcing a ‘store review’ into the chain. The locations are expected to be disclosed soon.

(AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

But Woolworths Group has insisted that the nation-wide closures will help ‘to accelerate the path to profitability,’ according to News.com.au.

Investment bank Citibank says it expects more closures beyond the announced 30 closures.

‘The closure of 16 per cent of the Big W network is likely to be the end of the store rationalisation profile,’ a 2019 note state.

Although Big W’s $85 million loss in 2019 seems drastic – it’s still an improvement on the $110 million loss it suffered in 2018.

(AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

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