Myer to exit store in Knox, Victoria

Myer to exit store in Knox, Victoria

Myer (ASX: MYR) will permanently shuttering yet another store as part of an ongoing cost-cutting strategy launched by CEO John King in 2018, adding to several downsizings around the country as the chain adapts to a changing retail environment.

The department store group announced today it would be exiting its store in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Knox, more than a year after the January 2020 departure from Hornsby, NSW and the January 2019 closure of its outlet in Logan, QLD.

Late last year the group exited an entire floor at Emporium in the Melbourne CBD as part of its cost rationalisation program, while floor space reductions have also been made in Belconnen (ACT), Cairns (QLD) and Morley (WA).

Works are also underway at Highpoint, VIC and are scheduled for completion in June.

The decision was partly due to rising online sales which were up 71 per cent in the December half at $287.6 million, now representing around a fifth of sales, while the proximity of other stores such as Eastland, Fountain Gate, Chadstone and Frankston also influenced the exit.

The nearest of these, Eastland, is almost 10km away from the Knox site.

"We will continue to make targeted improvements to our store network, whilst reducing space and improving the offer for our loyal customers," says King.

"Our vision remains for Myer to be a data and digital-led retailer supported by our store network, which continues to be an asset to our business.

"We thank our Knox team members for their significant contribution to Myer, and we look forward to continuing to serve our loyal customers either in nearby stores or online."

The company expects the Knox store to cease trading at the end of July this year, and has pledged to support all impacted staff through a period of consultation in a bid to redeploy as many team members as possible.

It is now more than 2.5 years since John King announced Myer's customer first strategy, involving changes to store layouts and transforming customer experiences, strengthening "Only at Myer" brands, simplifying the business, accelerating cost reductions and raising the iconic group's online presence which was lacking at the time.

As part of this strategy the group took Apple products off its shelves in 2019 while the Country Road fashion brands jumped ship to Myer's competitor David Jones, leaving a void that was felt in the group's FY20 results.

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