1 June 2020
The Weekly

David Jones is set to see an accelerated restructure of its store network after the impact of COVID-19. Discussions with Australian landlords are already underway in order to facilitate a further reduction in floor space across the David Jones network after sales fell 35.8% in the eight weeks to May. While David Jones’ store network remained open during the lockdown period, customers were largely self-isolating or staying away from retail locations due to Government pressure and fear of fines. Since lockdown measures have begun to ease the business has seen a positive uplift in footfall and an encouraging sales increase.

These initiatives also affected Country Road Group, which saw a 50.4% drop in sales during the eight weeks to May. Both Country Road and David Jones saw strong online pickup during the period in line with the broader industry trend. And while a downsizing of floor space has been on the cards for David Jones for some time, the impacts of COVID-19 have pushed business’s industry wide to reconsider their operating models. In total the weeks spent in a state of lockdown cost the retail industry $5.3bn according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with even supermarkets and grocery stores losing out in the month of April.