No closure for Katoomba's Big W

Big W has announced the first of its planned store closures - and the Upper Mountains is safe for now.

Stores in Fairfield, Auburn and Chullora will be closed from January 2020.

Big W at Katoomba: Cr Kevin Schreiber has called for the store to remain open.

Big W at Katoomba: Cr Kevin Schreiber has called for the store to remain open.

There are no plans announced affecting the Katoomba Big W but more store closures are on the cards.

The three Sydney shop closures are part of a wider strategy by the Woolworths-owned group to shut down about 30 under-performing stores across Australia over the next three years. The move is in response to the widespread shift to online shopping.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman expressed relief that the two stores in her electorate - Richmond and Katoomba - would remain open.

Ms Templeman wrote to Big W in April expressing her concerns at the possible closure of the two stores, saying she has now been advised it is "business as usual for Katoomba and Richmond".

Big W would continue to work with landlords over the coming months as part of the network review and remain committed to building a strong and sustainable Big W that met the needs of Australian families, Big W managing director David Walker said in a statement.

Cr Kevin Schreiber, who heads council's business mayoral reference group working with the various chambers of commerce, said he hoped the Katoomba store would remain open.

"The long-term importance to the town is stupendous," he said, noting that Big W provided employment for many people in the Upper Mountains.

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A spokeswoman for Woolworths told the Gazette in April that she could not nominate which stores might be earmarked for closure while there were ongoing discussions with landlords.

She emphasised that the company was not only looking at regional stores but at its entire network.

She added that the "majority of our store network" should remain open and they were committed to doing the right thing for staff in stores that are closed down.

"We will inform our team members, customers and community stakeholders well in advance of changes to any specific store," the spokeswoman said.

- with Krystyna Pollard