Every Big W store under the microscope
CENTRAL Queensland will have a nervous wait to find out what Big W stores survive a nationwide network review.
On Wednesday, Brisbane’s outer south saw the shock closure of the Big W outlet at Calamvale, with a company spokesman saying the store had “underperformed for some time.”
He guaranteed all 70 employees would be offered redeployment within the company.
Wednesday’s store closure was the fourth since Woolworths Group, which owns Big W, revealed in April last year that it would close as many as 30 Big W outlets and two distribution centres Australia-wide.
The Calamvale branch joined New South Wales stores at Auburn, Chullora and Fairfield on the scrap heap.
Given that 12 months ago the intention was to close up to 30 Big W stores over a three-year period, there are fresh concerns that number could be greater following the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the retail sector.
Woolworths Group has not named the remaining 26 Big W branches that it will close.
The firm has stores across Central Queensland in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Emerald, Gladstone and Mackay.
When The Morning Bulletin asked yesterday about the future of Big W stores in Central Queensland, a Woolworths spokeswoman revealed that every store in the country was under the microscope.
“We are reviewing the full network of 180 stores across Australia and each store is being reviewed based on their future growth potential,” the spokeswoman said.
“The purpose of the review is to build a strong and profitable store and distribution centre network where all stores can make a positive contribution to BIG W’s future, and BIG W’s supply chain is well placed to meet customers’ needs.”
In relation to Wednesday’s Calamvale store closure, a Big W spokesman said: “We do not anticipate that any future store closures would be subject to such tight time frames.”
He added: “We regret the short notice it gives to our team and community.”