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David Jones To Close Store As Sales Struggle

The sales slump impacting department stores is set to get worse as David Jones reports half year sales slumped 0.5 percent for the half year to the start of the peak Xmas New Year buying period, the good news was that online sales grew 61.8%.

The retailer is also closing its boutique store in Brisbane’s trendy Fortitude Valley less than three years after it opened. The trading update comes just weeks after Ian Moir, the chief executive of Woolworths Holdings who led the $2.1bn takeover of David Jones in 2014, announced he would step down in February.

The big retailer got some relief from the downturn impacting retailers with the South African Woolworths owned Company reporting that sales were 4.9% higher for the 26 weeks to December 29 when the peak Xmas New Year period were added.

It was also revealed that the Woolworths owned Companies A Country Road, Witchery, Trenery and Mimco also struggled in the run-up to the crucial holiday period.

A reduction in the impact from the Elizabeth Street store refurbishment contributed to improved results compared to the second half of last year, the company said, with additional floors opening for trade in the second half of 2019. The refurbishment is due for completion in March this year.

Comparable store sales, which included online, were 0.4 per cent lower, after adjusting for the trading week shift. Online sales, meanwhile, grew 61.8 per cent and now comprise 10.4 per cent of total sales.

Country Road Group sales declined 2.5 per cent over the period, but the result was impacted by the group pulling its Country Road merchandise from Myer stores. Excluding the impact of the Myer exit, sales rose 3.3 per cent. Comparable store sales, which included online, grew 0.1 per cent after adjusting for the shift in trading weeks.

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