Myer keeps Westfield Belconnen store alive

Myer has announced it will keep its Westfield Belconnen, ACT store open, after stating in 2017 that it would close this year, due to a new lease agreement with Scentre Group.

The agreement will see the stores scope narrowed, dropping from 3 floors to 2, over 12,000sqm of retail space and will be refurbished with the aim of creating a stronger retail experience and attracting a number of new and exclusive brands.

“This is great news for our loyal customers, team members and, importantly, for the local team members,” Myer chief executive John King said in a statement.

“This is an example of Myer’s customer-first plan in action, where we are looking to work collaboratively and constructively with landlords to reduce space, improve our stores and, most importantly, to enhance our range and brands for our customers.”

The customer-first strategy, as put forward by King last year as a way to turn around the department store’s fortunes, involves three key priorities: transforming the in-store experience for customers, expanding the ‘Only at Myer’ range of brands, and improving the business’ online offering.

The strategy proved to be profitable for the business during the first half of FY19, with Myer unveiling a 3.1 per cent growth in net profit despite sales falling 2.8 per cent, which King attributed to a move away from discounting and an increased focus on improving store profitability.

The department store notes that the refurbishment of its Westfield Belconnen store is the first announcement through this new strategy regarding store direction, with more to come, and demonstrates the strong partnership it shares with Scentre Group.

“Myer offers an important range of products and services that our customers want and expect and a refurbishment of the Belconnen store will be welcomed by all,” Scentre Group chief executive Peter Allen said.

“Myer’s reduced floorspace will allow us to introduce other retail partners to Westfield Belconnen which will further enhance the overall customer experience at the centre.”

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