Big W says reports of local closures are misleading
SPECULATION is rife this week that local Big W stores are at risk of closing.
The reports follow the Woolworths Group's recent losses related to the performance of the budget outlet.
A Sydney Morning Herald online article published on Monday specifically named Gladstone, North Rockhampton and Yeppoon stores as "at risk" of closure saying they had "seen a list of potential stores at risk, which are predominately based in regional Australia".
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga posted her concerns to Facebook on Monday.
"I'm thinking of all of the employees of Big W North Rocky and Yeppoon today after Woolworths announced these two stores are being targeted for closure," she said.
"It's very sad news indeed which will no doubt affect hundreds of local staff and their families."
"If they do, I hope that all local Big W employees receive their entitlements and employees are supported throughout the closures."
But a Woolworths Group spokesperson told The Morning Bulletin that no such list had ever been released by the company, and the article was most likely referring to a list published by New Idea Magazine without any consultation with store representatives.
"The list of regional store names circulated by an online news outlet last week was pure speculation," she said.
"We will inform our team members, customers and community stakeholders well in advance of changes to any specific store."
Woolworths was not able to confirm whether the two stores named would be spared from closure.
In addition to the speculation of store closures in Central Queensland, Big W announced a Warwick distribution centre would be closing.
Woolworths Group said the distribution centre, which employs 183 people, would cease operation by 2023 due to major losses in the last year.