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Myer Store Closures Make Way For Online Focus

Myer is in the process of reducing its bricks-and-mortar footprint, and with that comes the closure of its near-50-year-old Knox store in suburban Melbourne. The decision comes as a result of customers moving to online shopping in favour of visiting physical stores.

The Australian department store chain plans to eradicate more than 110,000 square metres of floorspace in the near future as it answers to major changes in the retail sector.

Closing the store at Knox will cut another 18,802 square metres from its total store space, with the doors set to shut this July.

The Knox store is leased from shopping centre owner Scentre Group, and closure of this Myer location will affect 100 jobs, including casuals, although Myer says it hopes to deploy as many staff as it can to other stores.

Myer has devised what it calls a “customer-first plan”, which determines store closures such as Knox and also details putting more focus on online platforms.

In its endeavour to consolidate floorspace, Myer kicked off closures in January 2019 starting with its Logan store in Queensland and shut Sydney’s Hornsby location in January 2020.

Elsewhere in Australia, Myer stores are undergoing space reductions at Belconnen in the ACT, Cairns in Queensland, Emporium in Melbourne and Morley in Western Australia. Highpoint in Victoria is due for completion in June 2021.

“In making this decision today, we have taken into account our rising online sales, as well as the number of Myer stores that are in close proximity to the Knox store including Eastland, Fountain Gate, Chadstone and Frankston,” Myer said in a statement to the ASX.

According to its chief executive John King, Myer will continue to nurture its store network but will do so while reducing space and “improving the offer” for customers.

“Our vision remains for Myer to be a data- and digital-led retailer supported by our store network, which continues to be an asset to our business.

“We thank our Knox team members for their significant contribution to Myer, and we look forward to continuing to serve our loyal customers either in nearby stores or online.”

After the Knox store closes, Myer will be left with 59 stores in Australia.

The universal shift from in-store buying to shopping online has triggered a wave of store closures for retailers, with the result becoming a massive drop in need for physical stores and the realisation that higher profits can be generated from online platforms.

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