Myer is hiring 2,000 staff weeks after standing down 10,000 workers weeks ago
By LAUREN FERRI FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
Myer is re-hiring 2,000 staff members to help meet online sales just weeks after standing down 10,000 workers and closing all department stores. The department giant – which has been an Australian institution for 120 years – closed all stores in March as it battles through the coronavirus pandemic. However, Myer vowed to continue to run its online store and has had to hire 2,000 workers to meet the demand.
Myer is re-hiring 2,000 staff members to help meet online sales just weeks after standing down 10,000 workers and closing all department stores. Pictured: an empty Myer store in March. Sales spiked over the Easter weekend with online sales increasing by 800 per cent, Nine News reported. ‘There’s no doubt our customers are seeking greater value during this period, and at Myer we are focussed on delivering that for them,’ Myers Chief Customer Officer Geoff Ikin said.
‘Furthermore, with our continued focus on online, it has allowed us to bring back more than 2,000 team members into work to assist with our online fulfilment during this very busy time.’
The free delivery threshold has been dropped to $49 and the returns policy has also been relaxed. Myer became one of the biggest victims of the coronavirus retail fallout, which is leaving tens of thousands of Australians unemployed as stores shut their doors.
The embattled department store has suffered plunging profits for almost a decade, long before coronavirus hit.A sign saying ‘Center Closed’ in front of an elevator during Coronavirus crisis in Queensland
Its latest financial results posted on March 5 reflect this, showing total sales down 3.8 per cent to $1.6 billion. ‘As team members will not be working they will not be paid during this period of imposed closure,’ the statement read last month. ‘Full time and part time members have greater flexibility to access their annual leave and long service entitlements in addition to government assistance measures.’ It said it was ‘fully supportive’ of the government’s social distancing measures, including people staying at home as much as possible. General Pants, Smiggle, and Peter Alexander have also temporarily closed due to the coronavirus fallout. The brands are owned by tycoon Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments, which announced a shutdown of Australian stores in March.
Australians queue at Centrelink during COVID-19 pandemic after thousands were stood down from their jobs
Around 9,000 of the company’s staff around have been stood down without pay until at least April 22. The group’s bosses will be working from home without pay. Bosses at Just Cuts said they could ‘no longer wait for the National Cabinet to do the right thing’ and closed all salons, with both staff and clients at increasing risk from coronavirus. Around 8,000 workers for Woolworths pubs and pokies joint venture were stood down on March 24.
ALH group, jointly owned by Woolworths and the Mathieson family, operates more than 300 licensed venues across Australia but was forced to shut these down after the government ordered all ‘non-essential’ businesses close due to coronavirus. RAG Group, which owns Tarocash, YD and Connor, closed 500 stores and stood down 3,000 workers on Friday.
The same happened at Accent Group – which owns Athlete’s Foot, Platypus and Hype – which announced the closure of 522 stores and the standing down of around 5,000 staff.
This article originally appeared in The Daily Mail.