​Myer to invest AU$600 million on data-driven New Myer strategy

Myer will be rolling out its New Myer strategy, including enhancing its existing omnichannel, in an effort to restore profit growth.

Over the next five years, Myer will be investing more than AU$600 million in total capital and implementation costs on delivering an improved customer experience.

Myer CEO and managing director Richard Umbers said data analytics of its customer base and store catchments would form the foundation of what has been dubbed as the "New Myer" strategy.

"From this analysis we have identified the necessary actions to make Myer's stores, range, and services more attractive to our primary customers who shop at Myer," he said.

As part of the New Myer strategy, Myer will be putting approximately AU$150 million capex and implementation costs towards creating "wonderful experiences" in its stores, including rolling out digital hubs and Wi-Fi.

Meanwhile, the company estimates that AU$100 million capex and implementation costs will go towards further enhancing its omnichannel shopping, including improving the usage of Myer online; increasing the proportion of Click and Collect sales, reducing fulfillment cost per order by 35 percent and enhancing online fulfillment; as well as improving online infrastructure and supply chain efficiencies to improve delivery times.

Myer has established a Transformation Office to oversee the implementation. It will be responsible for coordinating the execution of projects under the New Myer strategy and managing change across the business.

The announcement comes as Myer reported that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) were down 11.6 percent to AU$223.2 million, and net profit after tax dropped 21.3 percent to AU$77.5 million for the 2016 financial year ending July 25, 2015.

Umber said the results are a strong case for its New Myer strategy, and believes it will help restore growth.

"The New Myer strategy sets out a defined pathway to return the business to sustainable profit growth. We will achieve this by delivering a sharper and more focused retail offer that attracts more of the customers who represent the highest value to our business. This will be supported by investments in our stores to make them more engaging and productive," he said.

The company believes that as it undertakes its New Myer strategy, the rewards from its investments will be realised in late FY16 and thereafter. As a result, Myer expects NPAT for FY16 to be in the range of AU$64 million to AU$72 million, excluding the impact of implementation costs associated with New Myer.

"Following FY2016, Myer expects to return to sustainable profit growth," it said.

Myer also entered into a trading halt as part of the launch of an entitlement offer to raise approximately AU$221 million, at an offer price of AU$0.94 per share. The proceeds of the offer will be used to reduce core debt and provide balance sheet flexibility to implement the New Myer strategy, the company said.