Premier says Christmas can’t save Myer

Premier Investments has spoken out following last Friday’s revelation that Myer recorded a 4.8 per cent drop in first-quarter sales year-on-year.

Once again stating that the board of Myer “must go”, Solomon Lew, chairman of Premier Investments, called for shareholders to deliver a second strike at the department store’s annual general meeting next week in order to spill the board.

“A sales drop of 4.8 per cent (nearly 1 in every 20 dollars of sales disappearing) is something that even Father Christmas can’t turn around,” Lew said.

Lew said that Myer’s flat online sales growth is concerning, since this should be an area of automatic growth “in line with every other retailer.”

Myer responded late last week to an AFR report on Thursday asserting that the retailer had seen a decline in first-quarter sales. The department store said that it had seen an NPAT loss in the first quarter for the past five years and that the second quarter represents the most important contribution to its full-year profits.

“Premier has heard the Myer Board’s claims about the importance of Q2 and Christmas to its results before,” Lew remarked.

“Last year Mr Hounsell said the same things at the same time, then downgraded Myer’s guidance during December, and the following February due to a terrible Christmas performance.”

Following the AFR report, Myer shares fell to $.045 down from $0.465 on close of business Wednesday, before a trading halt was issued Friday morning. At the time of writing, shares have fallen to $0.43.

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