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Woolies to sell off Dick Smith

DICK Smith Electronics employees on the Sunshine Coast face uncertain futures after Woolworths revealed plans to sell the struggling business.

The retail giant also announced yesterday that it would close as many as 100 underperforming Dick Smith stores as part of a rapid-fire rationalisation of the business before the proposed sale.

But Woolworths, which bought a 60% stake in the electronics chain from founder Dick Smith in 1980, was tight-lipped yesterday over the possible ramifications of the sale on its Coast operations or whether any of its five stores in the region would be closed.

Dick Smith staff declined to comment when contacted by the Daily, saying head office had gagged them.

"At this point we're keeping mum about it," one staffer said.

Woolworths announced it would carry out a major restructure of Dick Smith in the hope of finding a buyer.

Mr Smith, the Buy Australian campaigner, said the move was a sign Australia was moving closer to the point when everything would be foreign owned.

He believed the local market was not big enough to provide sustained profits for companies in an increasingly globalised world.

"When you want endless growth only the biggest survive," he said.



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