One of the biggest names in Australian retail is set to slash its store presence as sales fall even before Amazon launches its local marketplace.
Myer released a net profit after tax of $67.9 million for the year to 29 July 2017, down $1.5 million on the previous year.
Total sales fell by 1.4 per cent to just over $3.2 billion, which the company blamed in part on the closure of three stores. However, on a sales per square metre metric, sales actually rose by 3.7 per cent.
This gives the company’s management confidence to continue slashing its total floor space, announcing plans for more store closures and a reduction of floor space at others.
“Since the launch of New Myer in September 2015, we have closed or announced the closure of 74,670m2 of store space overall,” Myers CEO and managing director Richard Umbers said.
“We will not be renewing leases at Colonnades, Belconnen and Hornsby.”
These latest store closures come after Myer shut up shop in Wollongong, Orange and Brookside, and reduced the size of its stores in Cairns and Dubbo.
The department store chain will instead focus on “customer experience”, having seen a 41 per cent surge in online sales, with its click and collect offering accounted for 15 per cent of orders in July 2017.
Myer’s announcement provides a high-profile example of the changes happening within the retail industry ahead of Amazon’s impending launch, which is anticipated as early as next month in time for the Christmas shopping season.