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Myer Sales Boost 1%, Bernie “Cautious”

Myer Sales Boost 1%, Bernie “Cautious”

Myer today reported first quarter sales to 26 January of $688 million, up 1% on last year, while comparable store sales rose  0.8 percent.

Profits for half year also rose slightly to $88 m, beating analysts expectations.

Myer boss Bernie Brookes said while the trading environment continued to be difficult, there was a modest improvement in consumer sentiment.

However, he added: “there are a myriad of factors currently in the mix and influencing discretionary spend, so we continue to be cautious about the trading environment.”

The department store’s strongest performers in Q1 FY2013 were Menswear, Womenswear and Cosmetics during the quarter, attributed to the arrival of new brands like Australian House and Garden (Homewares) and Madonna Material Girl.

There was no mention of electrical categories which Myer recently scaled back to make way for more profitable categories.

The best performing states were Western Australia and Queensland, and opened two new stores during the past six weeks in in Fountain Gate (Victoria) and Townsville (Queensland) with a “very positive” response from customers and are trading well, Myer said today.

The retailer also cited significant support of Myer Exclusive Brands by customers and strong sign ups to MYER one loyalty program, which now has almost 5 million members.

In October, Myer launched the smart phone app for iPhones which allows members to scan their digital loyalty card to earn shopping credits and a ‘pay with points’ initiative with the Commonwealth Bank.

“We have been pleased with continued progress in executing our five-point strategic plan to improve customer service, to enhance our merchandise offer, strengthen our loyalty program, build a leading omni-channel offer and optimise our store network,” Brookes said.

He also said his company was making “good progress” on improving its website and pointed to a “strong pipeline of future improvements.”

“We are confident that we are continuing to make good progress on improving our customer service as well as enhancing our loyalty program for our 4.9 million MYER one members”.