Myer the croaking consumer canary


Population growth of 1.6%, very focused on big cities, yet same store sales down. Ouch.

The consumer is not herself.


    • Myer has missed almost every financial target set out when Umbers embarked on a $600 million turnaround strategy.
      The worst earnings result since the department store group floated in 2009 fell short of the company’s revised guidance.
      Myer said it would close stores in Colonnades in Adelaide, Belconnen in Canberra, and Hornsby in northern Sydney.(for a start ww)

    • Myer is a tired business model.

      The most of the clothing is not very high quality, the consumer would be better off shopping at Target than the Myer Miss Shop. Most guys can’t even get into the store because the fragrance counters at the front hit them like a barrier wall, preventing them from entering. So 50% of the shopping population doesnt want to go there.

      Personally I think department stores have had their day. Shopping malls have taken over.

      • “Most guys can’t even get into the store because the fragrance counters at the front hit them like a barrier wall, preventing them from entering”
        Strewth! Ain’t that so!!!

      • FL and just the opposite at bunnings, the smell of that joint makes you want to buy something. I
        That was one major avenue masters missed out on. everyone said it smelt like a hair dressers.

  1. Myer is rubbish. Most items can also be purchased in competitor stores within a kilometre’s proximity to their department stores. Grace Bros was a far better department store but since the Myer rebranding here in NSW the stores are a waste of time stocking nothing out of the ordinary. Myer is in the same league these days as Kmart and Target ….

    • Grace Brothers and Myer had the same stock, layout and branding for 10-15 years before the rebranding..

      • In WA it was ‘Bones’. Some malls literally had two Myers right down to the font of the storefront. No internet then tho.

    • and billabong, quicksilver, surfstitch and any other surf shop you can name. Add bicycle shops auto shops etc and all other retailers.
      Hnh highlights it, the immigrants were brought here to keep the velocity of money flowing, but it looks like its gone into a vortex.
      what happens now to all the immigrants??

      • Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum

      • Watched Hardly Normal on Richo last night. ‘Why wouldn’t it be good. We’ve got 300,000 new people here every year……’ and they all need TV’s lounges etc etc Automatic wealth for Harry and Hardly!

  2. darklydrawlMEMBER

    I would say she is alive and well, but now does a large part of her shopping online – usually on her smart phone during commercial breaks of her favourite evening TV shop. She likes to use PayPal and/or Afterpay. She likes things delivered quickly.

    Whilst Myer is making some moves into this space they are very late to the party. No surprised they are struggling to get traction.

      • Then bitch and whinge because there are no casual jobs for her kids like the old days.
        Simone you are dead right – what you describe is exactly what they do – they are just a bunch of cheating unethical creeps!

      • Like all those BabyBoomers I see using self service check outs. When I raise my voice and tell them they have no principles they look at me like I’m in the wrong. Fuc#en sellouts!
        My kids ask why I’m lining up and I tell them that I have principles and morals , something these BB’s used to have but have become so selfish they couldn’t care less about any one other then themselves. Death to them. 👍

  3. Talking with Americans the other day – a case of Boutique high quality beer is around $17 with most beer around $12 – $50 for cheap Carlton Draught in Australia.

    Its not just housing, electricity, gas, internet, water which are the most expensive (AND SHIT) in the world, its also electronics, fresh produce, clothes, wine, cigarettes etc, etc, etc.

    Honestly – when this bubble bursts – it is going to go nuclear.


    • I used to shop in a Walmart in Texas, and they had Heineken for something like $12 per case, with fabulous Sam Adams not much more. This is ten years ago, but even so, beer was a fraction of the price in Australia, and a helluva lot better. As was clothing, shoes, electronics, watches…everything.

      We are continually gouged by Gerry Harvey et al.

    • Where are these apocryphal super cheap beers sold? Certainly, being married to an American and frequenting their supermarkets regularly I have never come across such cheap beer. A quick search of the King Kullen site shows $15-17 for a 12 pack of Heineken type beer and that is presumably not inclusive of taxes.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        Back in 2013 In Phoenix AZ I could buy bottles of Aussie wines for about half the price they sell for here (at places like Dan’s) at Walmart. Hell, even the 7-11 type stores had cheap wine – say $7-$8 per bottle. Some of this will be due to tax laws between the different countries (and states in the US – US taxation is a minefield which is why most prices are given pre tax).

    • Most the disparity in alcohol pricing is taxation (either directly or indirectly through liquor licenses).

      But we are certainly getting taken for a ride on most consumer goods prices. Euro cars being the most obvious example.

    • “clothes”

      Sorry, but clothes are way cheaper here than they are in the UK and the rest of Europe. By that i mean international brands. They are always on sale here as well. Electronics are mostly similar across markets unless you are talking about Asia or the USA.

    • davidjwalshMEMBER

      When I was in Houston a couple of years ago (thank the Gods I had the sense to sell out of there after ‘on the ground’ experience taught me what a complete fuck up the city’s drainage polices are) I developed a taste for Texas’ own Tito (triple distilled, gluten free, very smooth) vodka. Current base is in Alabama where state taxes add about 11% more than Houston but a relatively short drive gets me to Pensacola FL where you can buy a case of 6 x 2litre bottles for USD$29.80 per [big] bottle (same as Houston)………a 750ml of Titos at Dan Murphy (when you can find it) was priced at a ‘special’ $61.

      I was so tempted by the differential I considered whether it was worth bringing in a container load.

      Other spirits like Irish whiskey can be bought retail in all sorts of stores in the 1.5 litre sizes for the same price as 750ml duty free at Sydney…………….I switch back to wine when I’m in Oz

      Clothes – don’t start. My partner keeps an eye out for sales and paid USD$8 for a very high quality cotton brand name T –
      got a few for me. When she got back here she checked the price on the internet here. The sale price was (can’t recall which store) for $89.90 – literally same brand, design and (far as I can remember) same colour.

      Our retail sector needs a bomb under it………..

    • Cigarettes and alcohol are taxed heavily for obvious reasons.

      Should exclude cigarettes and alcohol from all cost of living comparisons.

  4. Myer is its own worst enemy. Recently I waited almost 30 minutes for a salesperson to assist. Not enough staff, other staff couldn’t help “Sorry, not my area”. Bought online for $900 on sale. $1400 Myer city.

    Edit: I just reread the announcement, I didnt realise Myer made so little profit, never paid attention before. I’m surprised!

    • “Myer is its own worst enemy.”

      David Jones is similar – there is no service. Try buying a pair of shoes there, you can’t. In the past i have left an item i wanted to buy because i couldn’t pay for it. They have improved in recent times and i think they are ahead of Myer. They look to be refocusing on higher end brands. This is what i would do. DJ’s should turn it’s focus on customers that are not price sensitive. The gourmet food offerings are also a smart idea.

      • The quality/prices of men’s shoes in Australia is a joke.
        Have a look at
        Sure they aren’t cheap but you are getting far better quality and most of the shoes can be resoled.
        For leather soles, get “TOPY” rubber type soles put on them for grip and durability.
        As far as fit goes; “G” width is the equivalent of EEE widths in Australia.

      • The last pair of “Florsheim” dress shoes that I bought at **s for nearly $200 several years back were Made In India. The leather that made up the toecaps crinkled within a few weeks. Same with **s “leather” belts. Cost the earth, are Made In China mostly and the “leather” flakes or tears within weeks. And when it comes to underjocks (Y fronts)…. Chesty’s elastics just aren’t up to the task. And what do you know. Made In China. The Y fronts Made In Indonesia for another well known brand (rhymes with hockey) – are infinitely better. Sadly, both brands used to be made in Oz.

      • Lester shoes. Made in Melbourne. Excellent quality dress shoes and Brian is great to deal with. Also cheaper than UK shoes.

    • Why would they offer you service Simone?
      You just told us in earlier post you get the sizing then buy on-line.
      like posting on blogs but not subscribing.
      Be the change you want to see in the world. Reward service with your custom. Are you really saving that much??

  5. As the old adage says:
    If Private Equity is buying than you’ve got to wonder why you’re selling,
    And if Private Equity is selling you’ve got to wonder why you’re buying.
    I suspect in this case that everything is window dressing.

  6. I’ve noticed a lot of westfields now are just full of designer brand specialty stores, this basically leaves myer with nothing to differentiate from the kmart/targets of the world. All the cost cutting has gutted their service, their selection is limited now, they’re just in a death spiral with no way out imo.

    Who knows though, maybe some VC will buy them again, cook their books and hoodwink the market on their dying business model.

    • The Dick Smith VC gutting and hoodwinking has probably left a lot of people awakeup to that trick. Still, there are chumps everywhere.

      • There is no turd so smelly that can’t be fixed by a private equity pirate with an expense account, a few bags of coke and a posse of enthusiastic super fundies

    • “I’ve noticed a lot of westfields now are just full of designer brand specialty stores”

      Yes, Doncaster and Chadstone being prime examples in Melbourne. I’m sure there are plenty in Sydney also. No doubt this will be similar here in Perth once Innaloo and Carousel are redeveloped in a similar vein to these stores. Myer is stuck. David Jones can turn it around by going more Harrods than Myer, and making it an experience, plus fleshing out in the way they have in the gourmet food offering. Not sure what Myer can do?

  7. The quality of management in Australia is below par. Why is Myer paying a dividend with those results.

    The last Company I worked with, an electrical wholesaler and distributor is a prime example of management not understanding how the market is moving.

    While they were making money hand over first during the mining boom they never invested it back into the business to drive effeciences and savings. When the boom finished they realised they’re fucked and started pouring money into fixing the business. All too late. They’ve spent money thinking they’re some Fortune 500 IT Company and they’re expenditure has yet brought anything to fritution. I directly asked the CEO what they’re plans are for Amazon and Amazon Prime (2 day delivery guarante) he just flipped flopped like a dying fish saying more of the same. Bricks and mortar.

    As this Compnay has chased volume they’re gross margin has slipped. With the main entity is trading at 12-14% gross margin, Amazon can come a discount at 30% couple that with two day delivery they’re are toast.

    • The Howard government did this during the mining boom too. They took all that cash and wasted it on buying grey votes and $900 bonuses. It makes me furious to think about all the bridges, hospitals and roads that could have been built with that money.

      Its not just managment that is a of a low quality in this country.

      • Negative gearing costs $10 billion per year. The 12 submarines will cost a fortune and only last 30 years each! A high speed railway could have been built for the same money as the 12 subs and the railway would be good for 100 years – we are still using Flinders Street Station.

        I do not think the $900 cheques went to those with an income larger than $100k. The cheques should have been restricted to those with Aussie passports only.

      • Thank you for the explanation 🙂 (I don’t day trade and avoided Myer like the plague since day one… so my interest is academic)

        If I can draw on your knowledge one more time – why would people short-cover today? Shouldn’t they wait, on the basis that today’s results should send the stock lower still?

    • the opportunity is mostly now gone.
      that they are laying off staff and closing stores, seems they are doing something. some fundies may feel brave enough to go long. Sol lew perphaps.
      next reporting is at xmas, by then we will know the effect of amazon.
      even so dont buy em, management is still in place, means culture hasnt changed.(cant teach an old dog etc.)
      amazon could take em to the cleaners. and when property goes discretionary spending will evaporate.
      I’d hate to be paying myer’s rent.

  8. They have the same problem as Dept Stores in the US. There is no place in the middle for them. Most things are now mass produced at reasonable quality out of China (clothing, homewares, toys, appliances etc) so the consumer just wants the cheapest price. Winners are Walmart/KMart etc. Fast and low key fashion has taken over from trendy designer pieces. Winners are H&M/CottonOn. Consumers are still spending, its just that they are spending on different things, namely electronics and experiences. Winners are Kogan/Jetstar/Apple. Whichever way they turn, their product offering is not suited to their target customer. Add to that the fact they dont offer a high level of service anymore, and you might as well shop online. I’d rather spend two hours browsing ASOS in the evening than waste my lunchtime wandering around Myer and waiting for non existent staff to find me a product.

    • I see that the staff thing seems to be a universal complaint. I kind of look forward to Myer’s demise, because I’m hoping it might take Westfield with it (gonna be hard to fill such large spaces). The few times I’ve tried to buy from them, no staff. No help. There are things bricks and mortar can do that online can’t, but Myer don’t seem to be good at them.

  9. the myer in dubbo is on its last legs. the place used to be thriving, had a cafe built into it and a series of departments on the second floor that sold books, electronics, white goods, luggage and higher end childrens toys. it was a neat place. ive witnessed its slow disintergration over the years, started with the closing of the cafe, the shuttering of the electronics section and the blocking off of the entire upstairs section, which is now closed. the cafe is now full of clothing racks for unpresented stock, therer are holes in the ceiling and giant fans are placed around the store (with the cords dangling around the outlets) as a form of air conditioning. the idea behind stores like myer is they are a high end shopping experience, but you go into this place and its seriously less pleasant than stepping into big w or target. theres no way they can justify their prices.

  10. greedypuppyMEMBER

    I passed through that store a year ago…buckets everywhere to catch the leaks. It seriously was in decline. I felt so bad I bought a cheap shoe shine kit for $5. When it closes where will people be able to get their higher end cosmetics-people in the regions will just be forced to go online or go without.

  11. From what I can tell Sydney Myer was a pretty decent citizen.
    And I liked this quote of his in particular.
    ‘It is a responsibility of capital to provide work. If it fails to do this it fails to justify itself’.
    I wonder what he’d say about the massive flow of capital into unproductive house price speculation in this country.
    What a crap way to run our country and its finances.