David Jones cuts executive staff, fashion MD goes

The problems currently being endured by Australian department store operators have come into even sharper focus as upscale retailer David Jones has axed 16 senior staffers with a key player in its fashion ops having been terminated.


David Jones


David Collins, who had been managing director of clothing and general merchandise, is on the axed list, The Australian reported.

But Collins hasn’t been the highest-profile casualty of a strategic review of the business by its owner, South Africa-based Woolworths Holdings. Only a month ago, the company also got rid of the joint CEO of both DJs and its Country Road chain, John Dixon. His dual role was removed, leaving DJs now under the control of its CEO David Thomas who reports directly to Woolworths’ group chief Ian Moir.

DJs this month said it’s investing heavily in key flagship stores to boost its luxury offer and its strategic review has clearly been focused on cost saving to help fund its investments. But its management structure has also been the victim of an undeniably tough retail environment.

A spokesperson told the newspaper that the new structure would be “flatter” and “more customer-focused,” which also reflects the changes being made at those flagship stores.

The reduction of management posts will save costs and reduce “complexity at a time of significant challenges within the retail sector while enabling further strategic investment where it is needed,” it said.

The post held by Collins is being discontinued completely with the leadership team now reporting directly to Thomas. There were no details on the other 15 roles that have been eliminated.

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