RUMOURS: Big W could be closing one-third of its 183 stores due to a decline in profitability and regional stores like Gladstone's may be at risk if so.
RUMOURS: Big W could be closing one-third of its 183 stores due to a decline in profitability and regional stores like Gladstone's may be at risk if so. Scott Powick

UPDATE: Big W closures confirmed, no specific stores named

RETAIL chain Big W will close about 30 stores over the next three years, owner Woolworths Group has confirmed.

Woolworths did not name specific stores.

Today's announcement came just a few days after rumours emerged that Big W Gladstone was one of 30 at-risk stores because of its regional location.

A Woolworths Group spokesperson said closure details would not be released until discussions with landlords were complete.

The spokesperson said an extensive business review of the company resulted in the decision to close "approximately” 30 Big W stores and two distribution centres at the end of their leases.

"These are not decisions we have taken lightly and we regret the impact this will have on affected team members,” the spokesperson said.

"We understand the announcement without confirmation of specific stores will create some uncertainty for our teams and the communities in which we operate, particularly in regional areas.”

The spokesperson said people impacted by closures would be warned as they got closer.

Despite Big W's sales being up by 6 per cent in the third quarter of this financial year, profits continue to improve too slowly for the company.

The chain lost $110million in the 2018 financial year.

It was expected to lose $80-100million this financial year, before interest and tax.



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