Woolworths, Target post massive losses, write-downs

WOOLWORTHS  has posted a loss of $1.23 billion - almost 160% down on its previous year's result following its Masters hardware store failures and a downturn in sales at Big W.

The Australian retail giant has announced a new operating model with 500 roles to be removed from its support office.

It comes as it announced overnight that all of its hardware stores - which it set up in competition with Bunnings - will be shutdown by Christmas.

 Those closures will result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

The final bill from the failed venture was a staggering $3.2 billion loss.

Even excluding the massive write-down, Woolworth's underlying earnings were well below expectations.

They collapsed 64 per cent from $2.6 billion in 2015 to just $804 million, well short of the $1.6 billion the market had expected.

But they are not the only ones with bad news to share.

Target stores, owned by Wesfarmers, are also struggling.

It reported a loss of $195 million after a huge write down of $1.3 billion.

Kmart boss Guy Russo has been brought in to oversee both chains.

The focus for Target will be clothes with Target getting out of the toy business, which contributed to its revenue decline.

But Target faces fierce competition from clothing giants Uniqlo, H&M, TopShop etc, which have only just begun rolling out stores across Australia.

 Locally, David Jones, Jay Jays, Just Jeans and Myer have all been in the doldrums, while Colorado and Bettina Liano went broke.

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