Coles Myer has made some 20 staff redundant from the corporate, government and education sales team as part of an internal restructure at IT reseller Harris Technology.
Harris Technology's parent company, retail giant Coles Myer, has confirmed the redundancies. The layoffs are part of an internal restructure instigated as part of managing director Craig Dower's new strategy.
Dower took over the managing directorship of Harris Technology in January.
Sources close to the company said Dower had reviewed the strategies and structures of the reseller as would be expected in any significant change of leadership.
"But I think our competitors are making a bit of a fuss about it," one source said. "They're just changing their strategy."
More people had been affected by the restructure but would not lose their jobs. Many were being transferred to other roles within the company, some of which were also corporate, government and education sales-related, the source said.
Another source said some other staff had also been made redundant. However, that could not be confirmed at press time.
Craig Dower, managing director at Harris Technology, said the reseller's approach to serving some customers, particularly in the enterprise market, had not been effective.
"Our new business model focuses on offering all our customers three core business channels: website for online ordering, contact centres for telephone ordering and business centres," he said.
Dower said Harris Technology had made the changes to remove duplication, improve customer responsiveness and create more efficient processes to boost its customer focus.
"It is our intention to redeploy as many people as possible in either Officeworks or the broader Coles Myer group," he said. "New positions have also been created with a view to improve our customer service and we have promoted several people internally into these new roles."
Harris Technology would support and offer outplacement help to those affected, Dower said.
Coles Myer last week announced its annual sales results were up 13.3 percent to $36.6 billion.
"This is a very strong result, particularly given the tighter trading conditions experienced across the retail sector this calendar year," Coles Myer chief executive John Fletcher said in a statement.
However, the fourth quarter had been the toughest for some time, Fletcher added.
Further, Harris Technology sales had declined and the company blamed that phenomenon for Officeworks' sales growth coming in lower than expected with a 5.2 percent increase to $1.24 million.
Excluding Harris Technology, Officeworks' sales growth would have been 7.4 percent for the year, Coles Myer said.