Finance Finance News Myer shrinking: Retailer axes Blacktown store, downsizes others
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Myer shrinking: Retailer axes Blacktown store, downsizes others

Myer
Myer has announced plans to close yet another store as it moves ahead with plans to downsize its business. Photo: AAP
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Myer is moving ahead with plans to shrink its business, on Friday announcing it will close a long-standing store in Blacktown, Sydney.

The department store chain has also reduced its floorspace at stores in Belconnen in the ACT, Cairns in Queensland, Morley in Western Australia and Highpoint in Victoria, according to an ASX release published Friday.

It’s all part of a plan to reduce Myer’s costs after more than a decade of financial struggles. Chief executive John King said the latest shrinking of the 120-year-old retailer will improve its customer offer.

“We will continue to make targeted improvements to our store network, reducing space and improving the offer,” Mr King said.

“We thank our Blacktown team members for their service and contribution to the business and our Blacktown customers for their loyalty to the store.”

As part of a downsizing plan approved in 2018-19, Myer has quit more than 83,000 square metres of retail floorspace, with a further 70,000 square metres still planned, according to its annual reports.

That’s equivalent to more than seven Melbourne Cricket Ground stadiums, the largest sports ground in the southern hemisphere.

The downsizing is helping the company improve its all important sales-per-square metre metric. It is closely watched by department store investors because it measures how efficient a retailer’s sales have been.

In the past two years Myer has closed several stores entirely, including in Logan, Brisbane; Knox, Melbourne; and Hornsby, NSW.

Its total sales have also fallen. But that is largely due to the pandemic lockdowns, which have forced many Myer stores to close temporarily.

Myer said last month that its sales for the five months to January 1 were up 12.3 per cent on the prior year. But it warned that the spread of the Omicron variant had a negative impact on in store foot traffic.

The department store chain will deliver its full half-year result in March.