The challenging future of department stores in Australia.
Peter Singline & David Ansett
There is much written about the challenging future of department stores in Australia. Both David Jones and Myer are household names with a rich heritage in retailing, but for many years their relevance in an ever-changing retail landscape is being questioned. In more recent years, the impact of the GFC, combined with enhanced competition from online players and strong international fashion retailers opening stores in Australia, means Myer and David Jones are facing significant head winds.
But it is a phenomenon that is not limited to Australia. Around the world the department store concept is being challenged. In March the Financial Review quoted the chief executive of Paris based department store Galeries Lafayette as saying that he was convinced that the department store format faces extinction. What is instead being proclaimed as the future for Galeries Lafayette is to position itself as a ‘multi-specialist lifestyle retailer’. Their aim is to build a house of brands under one roof that offers the best of French and international premium and luxury goods.
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