Myer finally realises the customer comes first 243



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20 years ago, department stores were doing roaring trade. They stocked everything we needed and we trusted their prices for the quality we were receiving. The staff were polite, knowledgable and easy to find.

Fast forward to the present day and department stores can look like little more than a ghost town. Sometimes they’re the only way to navigate from one end of the shopping centre to the other so we use them as a detour. There are sales everywhere but no sales people to be found.

And it is now, at crisis point and after the sudden news of Myer CEO Bernie Brookes’ resignation, that Myer decides it needs to put the customer first.

According to an announcement that new Myer boss Richard Umbers released yesterday, he said this:

“As we understand our customer better, and their lifestyle, it’s becoming evident to us there will be new opportunities … to better serve those customers. I think really the focus for the senior team … is that we are about creating wonderful shopping experiences and really bringing the love of shopping to life”.

The statement comes as Myer is expected to post another annual loss after last year’s profit was down 23 per cent. They want to focus on online shopping, as more and more shoppers prefer the convenience of browsing 24/7.

The Australian reports that Armytage Private portfolio ­director Bradley King said Myer should also invest in better motivating staff.

“I think Richard Umbers really needs to motivate his sales staff, and I don’t know whether that’s difficult in a wage environment which is conducive to a higher per hour wages bill, but I would be looking at sales infrastructure and trying to motivate staff to get sales”.

Mr King believes that foot traffic isn’t the problem, it’s getting consumers to buy – would you agree?

Despite some losses, private equity boss Ben Gray believes that Bernie Brookes dug Myer out of a hole over the last nine years and now Myer will revitalise itself.

So tell us today, how often do you shop at department stores? What sort of service do you receive? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I must say,I think the damage may not be capable of being turned around,they retrained their staff quite a few years ago,and things still went backwards,I think they need a lot more than changing hands, and retraining,I’m just not quite sure what this may be!

  2. Years ago I thought that Myer was a snobby overrated and expensive store and you were always at the mercy of staff that were aloof and unfriendly. Nothing has changed, they are just the same…When you can find do one!

  3. Chinese market monopolizes.. Big w ….eBay online purchases same as the government too many years of mismanagement , sell offs. Can’t be undone fast. .

  4. It is about time I used to shop at Myers but not anymore as you cannot get served and when you did find something had trouble finding someone to take your money.

    1 REPLY
  5. Myer needs to be dragged into becoming a customer oriented present day service provider. They need staff who realise they are paid to actually assist people and that shopping in their stores is not necessarily a privilege and that there is plenty of competition. Of course, staff also need to be encouraged and appreciated by management!

    4 REPLY
    • yes the staff of today, dont come anywhere near those of yester year, they treated you with the greatest respect and were very very helpful.. if not they were sacked..

    • Some of the staff of yesteryear were also not very helpful and I have to admit I’m thinking here more of David Jones where they treated you as if they were doing you a huge favour by deigning to acknowledge you, let alone serve you.

    • I can’t say I’ve really had a problem with the sales staff – only with the fact that there are so few of them.

  6. If there is no customer service, this particular customer will not buy anything from a merchant. Hence, I no longer shop at Myer. Haven’t bought there for three years, and won’t start now.

    Small shops offer great service.

  7. Take a page out of David Jones service. It is all about the customer feeling important as does the staff need to feel valued. Valued staff =valued customer. Win, win

    5 REPLY
    • Only good service I get in David Jones is in the concession areas I was in David Jones Parramatta yesterday and no staff on confection and I really wanted to buy some chocolates for a gift total waste of time

    • Marilyn I live on the Gold Coast and go to DJs here and in Brisbane and love it. Still think no matter what the company if the staff feel valued then so does the customer

    • I haven’t had good service in DJs for many, many years. When you can find someone to serve you they act like they are doing you a favour. I only shop there when I absolutely have to.

    • Maybe I have just been lucky or maybe it is the Queensland way. Have only lived here 9 years so maybe I look like a tourist

  8. Wont shop there anymore. Staff so rude,thought they were to assist customers instead of walking around with noses in the air, and very lucky if you even get half a smile or thankyou when making a more.

  9. Used to love shopping at Myer, but haven’t been in there for years. The last time I was queued for ages at the only available counter and when it got to my turn the middle aged male sales assistant who should have been serving me took off to ask two newly arrived young girls how he could help them! Not happy. His colleague, a young lass herself, was left to deal with the queue, but she wasn’t fazed. She just kept moving at snail’s pace. Reminded me of the old joke. You can’t complain about the service – there is none. I was so appalled by that man I have never been back. It will take a big culture change to win me back.

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