In a market dominated by Kmart and Target, discount department store Big W has struggled to stay competitive. However, a leaked memo from the chain’s CEO Brad Banducci reveals a new, last-ditch effort for survival.
Obtained by retail industry news site, ChannelNews, the memo details a plan to divide its departments into “universes” called “About Kids”, “About Leisure”, “About Homewares” and “About Everyday and Seasonal”.
To manage each “universe”, general manager Teresa Rendo announced new head of commercial roles would be created to focus on each category and drive sales.
And if retail experts are to be believed, this could be the struggling chain’s last chance for reinvention. “The market is a bit sick of hearing about their turnaround,” Pippa Kulmar from Retail Oasis told news.com.au. “They’ve been through so many CEOs and they have to do something demonstratively different. The idea of universes is interesting and customer centric, but there needs to be something fundamentally different. As a shopper it’s not a big enough change.”
Unfortunately, with the looming introduction of retail giant Amazon to Australia, many believe it’s simply too little too late for Big W. “They need to show the public they’re changing,” Kulmar said. “The public is waiting for them to change. They’d have to work out a game plan. Maybe that means selling up or becoming a smaller player.”
Do you shop at Big W? Would you be sad to see it go? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.