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DJs, Myer threatens to walk from suppliers

Not only are Australian retailers already paying higher labour and rent costs than overseas peers, they are also paying a high price for stock as they continue to fight the against its online competitors.


As a result, Myer and David Jones have threated to find new sources for stock or to remove products from shelves uncles global suppliers reduce their prices.

The department store chains have demanded price reductions of 10 to 40 per cent on cosmetics, apparel, accessories and consumer electronics in order to reduce the price difference that online pure-play retailers and overseas department stores offer.

“Suppliers have differential pricing so it’s up to them to come to the party,” Bernie Brookes, Myer chief executive, told The Australian Financial Review.

“We have over 30 buyers and each of those buyers within their own categories are almost daily talking to suppliers about the fact that their prices relative to online don’t match and they’re selling product online either through agents or through their own websites at cheaper prices, in some cases, prices that are close to our buying price.”

In this latest fight, it has resulted in some retailers, including JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman, offering products direct from manufacturers. And Brookes has told the AFR that Myer was looking to do the same through sourcing products from its Hong Kong and Shanghai office if it unable to buy locally at competitive prices.


Similarly, David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra said consumers are no longer to prepared to pay a premium for international brands when it could be bought cheaper online.


  • Fred

    Has it really taken this long for Myer CEO Bernie Brookes to realize that the retailing model of Myer is DEAD! Its not all about PRICE Bernie, its SERVICE, talking to people who are interested in you as a buyer, knowledge of products, staff STOP talking to to each other when you see a customer needs service. And delivery, that is the experience if its not online then why should I shop in store? No rude sales staff, no parking fines, no rip off parking fees, and no walking around a store that is so out of date. It offers zero in store experience for the shopper. Times have changed, the model has not kept up with this.
    As I’ve said before its a unit site in the making!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you.I own little store my self I am Retailer too, times are though but customers are looking for the service today,friendly sale person that cares.At Mayer unfortunately stuff is not helpful they don’t know the product well, grossly understaffed majority of the stores.Stock out of the date(last year fashion stuff they couldn’t sell in the past.Consumers are very smart those days thanks to technology.And I think it comes down to good old shopping experience, when you walk trough the door and shop assistance greets you with the smile and they are happy to see you.Understanding and knowing you product in order to help your customers,listen to the customers coz they are the one you should be listening too.That is how we are surviving this Retail crisis, and trough our good service we are still alive and have repeat business.

  • Geoff

    The pricing from wholesalers and manufacturers to all retailers/resellers should be the same. If you can sell more/charge more by having a department store channel, then that channel should support itself. What is being suggested is that manufacturers and distributors engage in price fixing to cut Australian pure play and smaller retailers out of the market and make customers pay more to do this.

    It’s high time the ACCC stopped the price fixing. Times are changing and customers are going overseas to avoid the GST and price fixing in Australia.

  • Simon de Crespigny

    Online will always be able to undercut retailers. Online have lower margins because of lower overheads and minimal real-estate. Most shoppers are happy to pay retailers the extra margin provided their shopping experience is positive. Positive = visible and well trained staff plus well stocked and orderly stores. Large retailers can also enter the online sector and offer savings to consumers. Not that complex really is it? Or is this just another example of the big boys using their might to screw down costs to unsustainable short term levels. We all need to make profits to remain viable. That includes suppliers as well as retailers.

  • Glenys

    Myer may have invested many millions of dollars in a new Melbourne flagship store – however same old attitude, same lack of service and any interest in a customer, same old stock. Why would we bother.
    I do not buy anything online at all – I shop where products I want or can be tempted into buying are displayed in an attractive way, plus the staff are actually interested in their product. I was recently in a Myer store looking at a young designer dress for my niece [23, slim and gorgeous] – the sales assistant responded that the designer did not make in my size [not 23, slim or gorgeous].Time the management went undercover into their stores to see how and why customers are not interested. Take the blinkers off.

  • JANNE mckay

    Having been a retailer for nearly 4 decades and seeing trends fashion different governments in place from the start thinking it was only going to be a cash society and plastic cards would never take over it has been a truly changing world. I could ramble on for ever but with all the money spent on Myers stores or David Jones in the little time I have left to do personal shopping in major stores I find it very hard to actually find someone to serve me .And when they do have sales its stock they can’t sell anyway.
    More stores individually will go back to strip shopping because basically the customers want to be appreciated acknowledged and have the great customer service experience
    Small retailers can give