Mr Thomas’s departure comes at a challenging time for David Jones, which is in the midst of an ambitious $400 million redevelopment of its flagship Elizabeth Street store.
The retailer has been discounting heavily to lure shoppers amid the worst retail conditions since the global financial crisis.
David Jones’ sales tanked in the run-up to Christmas as consumers, rattled by falling house prices and struggling with higher living costs, stayed away from shopping centres or shopped online.
David Jones’ same-store sales growth slowed to just 0.9 per cent in the 26 weeks ending December 23 after rising 2.4 per cent in the 20 weeks ended November 11. This followed a 3.3 per cent fall in same-store sales in the year-ago period.
David Jones’ total sales growth slowed to 1 per cent compared with growth of 2.9 per cent in the first 20 weeks of the new year, with growth from new stores and online (up 46 per cent) largely offset by disruption from the refurbishment of its flagship Elizabeth Street store.