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Johannesburg – South African retail giant, Woolworths Holdings, on Friday announced a new regional structure for its Australasian businesses, David Jones and Country Road Group, in a bid to create a single entity.

Woolworths previously announced its intent to relocate both the existing David Jones head office in Sydney and the Country Road Group head office in Melbourne to a single campus based in Richmond, Melbourne.

Consistent with the desire to create a single entity benefiting from economies of scale and an aligned culture, Woolworths is now creating a single regional corporate structure to manage its department store chains.

Woolworths said the region would be headed by a chief executive with a team of regional executives covering the core operational functions plus the chief executive of Country Road Group, and managing directors of David Jones Food and David Jones Clothing and General Merchandise.

Ian Moir, Woolworths, CEO, said the creation of a single regional structure was the logical next step for the business.

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"It enables the benefits and synergies of the Australian acquisitions to be fully realised and allows the creation of a single team and culture focused on our Australian customers and driving improved shareholder returns for the Woolworths Holdings Group," Moir said.

John Dixon, currently chief executive of David Jones, would assume the role of chief executive of Woolworths Australasia, encompassing Country Road Group and David Jones and with responsibility for the Australasian operations with effect from 1 September.

Woolworths said the new regional structure would have no impact on the combined headcount of the David Jones and Country Road Group businesses with about 1 300 employees located at the new Australasian Head Office campus following completion.

Over time, Woolworths said it expected its head office team would increase to approximately 1 500 employees.

Last month, difficult trading conditions in both South Africa and Australia saw Woolworths' adjusted diluted headline earnings per share declining 2.4 percent for the first half of the 2017 financial year.

AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY