Speculation over closure of Stockland's department store
THE shock resignation of BIG W chief executive officer Sally Macdonald has prompted speculation that the Woolworths-owned retail giant's survival is not guaranteed.
Big W operates 184 stores throughout Australia, including one at Stockland Shopping Centre in Gladstone, and competes head-to-head with Coles' owned K-Mart stores. It employs about 22,000 staff nationally and through Asia.
Analysts are now questioning if Ms Macdonald's departure - less than 12 months after her appointment in January - highlights bigger intentions for the retailer.
Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said Ms Macdonald had made progress in restructuring the business and reducing costs but "the transformation of Big W will take three to five years to complete".
"Unfortunately, this time horizon is inconsistent with Sally's expectation when she joined Big W," he said.