Breaking: Australian department store giant David Jones is set to close dozens of stores across Australia.

The iconic department store brand will close as many as 48 outlets across Australia in the coming months and next few years, as retail suffers heavy losses.

The parent company of David Jones is looking to reduce its dept and it will need to sell floor space in order to do so.

Sales are down over 35% since the global crisis hit, even though the department store was keeping stores open as rival Myer shut up.

Discussions are now underway with local landlords over an “accelerated restructure” of David Jones’ store network and floor space, media said.

The David Jones’ parent company said it will start rolling back its brick and mortar retail space, shutting floors at some of its larger locations and completely shutting down others.

The David Jones parent company, a South African based company, said it was looking and major changes in coming months and years.

“Notwithstanding the significant challenges we currently face as a business, we are well placed to respond rapidly and effectively to changing customer dynamics and capture the market opportunities that arise,” chief Roy Bagattini said in a statement to media and investors today.

Retail fell about 18% in April as the pandemic hit and people put their wallets away or went online for shopping.

The news comes as Target stores across Australia are set to shut or transform to BigW stores in a huge retail shakeup for the country.