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David Jones Grapple Lease Contracts & Big Debt

Iconic premium department store, David Jones, is reportedly working with KordaMentha as it grapples with landlords to manage debts of at least $400 million across Australian operations.

According to The Australian, David Jones has been working with the advisory firm for several months on its real estate portfolio.

Initiatives include plans to navigate the constraints imposed by long lease contracts.

The retail group has reportedly extended its payment time to suppliers amidst a cost cutting drive.

Owned by South African-based Woolworths Holdings, the company’s Australian arm includes retailers like David Jones, Mimco, Witchery and Country Road.

As previously reported, last year David Jones slashed the value of its business by $437 million – declaring a ‘retail recession.’

At the time – notbaly before the coronavirus pandemic – the company said David Jones was under “unprecedented economic pressures.”

In the two years to 2019, the David Jones has accrued over a billion dollars in after tax losses.

David Jones runs 47 stores nationally, however, some reports suggest the group is faring better than expected.

The news comes after rival Myer announced a bumper Easter long weekend sale, with the retail group benefitting from strong online sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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