Poor service angers DJs shareholders

POOR customer service, a lack of hand towels in bathrooms and a shortage of fashions for ladies over 55 have raised the hackles of David Jones's shareholders.

Earnings may have tumbled at the troubled retailer in recent times but David Jones shareholders were more interested in in-store service than profit during the three-hour annual meeting on Friday.

Poor customer service was a particularly sore point for many shareholders, with some suggesting it was affecting company profits.

''I suggest your profitability is down due to a total and utter lack of customer service in your shops,'' shareholder Kevin Hughes told the meeting.

Another shareholder, Kathleen King, said she had experienced several incidents of poor customer service at David Jones stores that were distressing.

''One of the incidences was so bad that I was surrounded by 10 women whose jaws just dropped,'' she said.


Chairman Bob Savage said customer service was an extremely important issue for David Jones and the retailer had recently increased staff numbers after realising it had cut too many jobs. ''We manage our customer service in relation to the volume of sales we expect at any one time,'' he said.

Several female shareholders asked that David Jones replace hand dryers in the ladies' toilets with paper towels, and there were several requests for a greater range of fashion for women over 55.

''For some years, David Jones has put fashion for the younger age group ahead of their over 55s,'' shareholder Anne Waterford said.

''Would you be able to address the inadequacies of that?''

Mr Savage said he had already started discussions with management about increasing the range for more mature women.