Myer staff dodge bullet

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHAR­LIE PEEL char­lie. peel@ news. com. au

T O W N S V I L L E ’ S M y e r store won’t be among the 42 out­lets na­tion­wide which will un­dergo a staffing shake- up.

The changes at Myer’s stores will aim to put a more flex­i­ble work­force in place, with a higher rep­re­sen­ta­tion of ca­sual and part- time staff.

A Myer spokesman told the Bul­letin the Townsville store would be one of 14 stores na­tion­wide to dodge the changes, as it al­ready had an ac­cept­able ra­tio of per­ma­nent to part­time em­ploy­ees.

“Townsville al­ready has a flex­i­ble staffing ar­range­ment, so it’s pos­i­tive news for them,” the spokesman said.

The new busi­ness model is ex­pected to fa­cil­i­tate ros­ter­ing of more sales staff in peak pe­ri­ods and de­crease them dur­ing quiet times.

The move ap­pears to be in stark con­trast to ri­val David Jones, which is in­creas­ing the num­ber of its full- time store em­ploy­ees.

Vol­un­tary re­dun­dan­cies will be of­fered at 42 of Myer’s 66 stores as part of the re­tailer’s plan to turn around flag­ging sales.

“We are chang­ing the mix of per­ma­nent and ca­sual team mem­bers to achieve greater flex­i­bil­ity, so we can align our work­force with cus­tomer de­mand and adapt to changes in store traf­fic flows,” a Myer spokesman said.

Morn­ingstar an­a­lyst Fa­rina Par­sons said strik­ing the right bal­ance be­tween per­ma­nent and ca­sual work­ers was par­tic­u­larly cru­cial for depart­ment stores, given their size.

“To get that ros­ter­ing right is go­ing to be very es­sen­tial,” she said.

“It would be dan­ger­ous to get rid of too many staff be­cause shed­ding too many would af­fect cus­tomer ser­vice and they can’t af­ford to do that in such a com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment.”

Myer has been strug­gling with de­clin­ing sales and is in the mid­dle of a ma­jor over­haul to turn around the busi­ness.

Myer has al­ready cut 80 jobs at its Mel­bourne Dock­lands of­fice last month as part of the “back to ba­sics” strat­egy.

The re­tailer closed its depart­ment store at Syd­ney’s Top Ryde City shop­ping cen­tre on Satur­day and will close three spe­cial­ity stores in Mel­bourne next month.

Shares in Myer closed up a cent, or 0.84 per cent, at $ 1.195 yesterday.

GOOD NEWS: Myer’s changes to staffing won’t af­fect the Townsville store.

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