Hot on the heels of David Jones’ retail media announcement, the company plans to axe up to 100 jobs from its retail stores.
David Jones looks to cut up to 100 roles as part of an extensive review of retail and department store operations under its new private equity owner, Anchorage Capital.
As part of a broad review of operational efficiency, David Jones plans to implement process improvements and technologies with a view of “streamlining processes and eliminating tasks that are not focused on people or service”.
A David Jones spokesperson told The Sydney Morning Herald, “We listened to our customers, frontline and management teams, and found there was duplication of effort and that our leaders want more time on the floor, leading and inspiring their teams, engaging with their customers and driving service outcomes.”
Additionally, technology is increasingly handling sales reports and office tasks previously performed by assistant sales manager roles. As a result, the company says it will remove these positions from its operating structure.
A review of retail operations has been on the cards since the sale of David Jones from South African retailer Woolworths Holdings to private equity firm Anchorage Capital at the end of 2022.
Anchorage Capital settled the acquisition of David Jones in March this year. A press release at the time noted Anchorage’s intention to “accelerate their growth and achieve their strategic and financial objectives”.
An unauthorised source said as many as 100 positions could now be axed, though official spokespersons have yet to reveal the exact number. Negotiations concerning the structural changes are still underway.
The news of these expected job cuts closely follows the company’s announcement of entering the retail media market.
David Jones Amplify aims to “curate advertising that complements the David Jones brand” and allow advertisers to engage the company’s customers at scale. The initiative is set to target affluent shopper audiences through various advertising channels, including 475 in-store formats, 102 digital formats and 70 print and digital editorial formats.
David Jones Chief Marketing Officer James Holloman explains, “David Jones Amplify will showcase the real power of our media assets across our marketing properties, both in our physical and digital stores. Additionally, leveraging first party data to advertise to targeted premium audiences on the open web.”
The company plans to leverage around 30,000 annual media placements across point-of-sale, solus emails, window displays, JONES magazine, pop-ups, website and digital screens.
David Jones’ strategic operational shifts come at a time when sales figures could signal a challenging reminder of 2023 for retailers. ABS figures show the June quarter fell 0.5 per cent – the third consecutive quarterly decline in retail sales measured by volume.