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Myer could close stores

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Retail giant Myer could close seven stores to help reignite sales growth, analysts say.

The department store chain has a number of underperforming stores that could be closed to simplify the business and improve its financial performance, Citigroup analysts said.

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“We see the potential to close seven stores,” they said in a research note.

“Closing these stores could help Myer deal with the wide range of demographics and diverse product ranging that it has to target.”

Myer has 67 stores across Australia, mostly in capital cities, but also in regional centres including Bendigo, Ballarat, Dubbo, Orange, Wagga and Mackay.

Sales could also be boosted by lifting staff numbers and spending more on marketing, the Citi analysts said.

Analysts at Credit Suisse have also said Myer should be fast-tracking plans to restructure the company.

“It is feasible that Myer will be reconsidering the breadth and size of its stores in its regional store network, consider accelerating changes to product range and broadening its e-commerce capability,” they said in a research note.

Myer recently appointed a new chief executive, former supermarket executive Richard Umbers, who joined the company in September as its supply chain boss.

He is expected to introduce changes to the retailer’s strategy to overcome weak consumer spending and growing competition, which could come as early as Thursday when the company releases its half year results.

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