Traditional department stores might have had their day: Deakin retail expert

Media release
14 September 2017

A Deakin University retail expert believes Myer's profit crash and its planned closure of more stores could be a sign that department outlets have had their day.

Deakin Business School’s Dr Steve Ogden has been following the demise of department stores in Australia and overseas.

“What we are seeing with Myer today could well be a sign that department stores in their current form have had their day,” Dr Ogden said.

“Department stores are probably the most difficult format to trade from due to high overheads and multi-source competition.

“The convenience they offer in terms of range and choice has long since been superseded by both specialist, niche and online retailers.

“Similarly, the kudos of the department store shopping experience has slipped in the consumer’s eyes.

“Department stores are a feature of the destination - i.e. upgraded shopping centres - but are arguably not the main attraction they used to be.”

Dr Ogden said that Myer had for a long time displayed retail optimism which has seldom been matched by retail reality.

“The Topshop failure was clearly a big hit in terms of revenues,” Dr Ogden said.

“More nimble, international retail competitors have also challenged on price, channel and value to huge effect.”

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