International labels to be key at Australia's Myer under new CEO

Retailers worldwide are rethinking their strategies as they face the combined onslaughts of cautious consumers, growing e-sales and international competition, and this is a particular problem in the Australian market.


Oasis is one of the UK brands now available at Myer - Oasis


But international brands are the beneficiaries as retail giant Myer launches a refreshed strategy under its new CEO John King, who used to be chief executive of House of Fraser in its glory days and has a much more global outlook when it comes to brands.

He’s bringing in European brands including Bestseller’s Selected Femme and Homme, the UK’s Oasis, Warehouse and Twisted Tailor, plus Karl Lagerfeld and Denmark’s Rotate, with a focus on labels that haven’t been available in physical stores in the country before.

It’s a move also being seen at major upscale rival David Jones, which has added Ulla Johnson, Kenzo and Rixo ­London to its mix recently.

There are only two major department store names in the Australian market and both Myer and David Jones have struggled in recent years with both now heavily focused on recovery plans.

Myer’s merchandise chief Allan Winstanley said at the weekend that newness is hugely important in a country with the unique conditions that the Australian market has, and that the company wants to update its portfolio.

He also told the Telegraph that the appeal of Oasis and Warehouse is that they’re “two UK staples which are doing very well in Europe,” and that Karl Largerfeld is seeing “incredible” business at the chain.

Myer had seen some holes in its offer following the departure of the Topshop brand after its problems in the country, and also after Country Road, Politix and Mimco were pulled from the chain (they’re owned by the parent company of David Jones).

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