Myer's digital sales take centre stage during FY19

The department store's digital presence is now effectively its largest store.

The enhancements that Myer continues to make to its online store is paying off with the Australian chain reporting that digital sales were up almost 22% to AU$292 million during the 2019 financial year.

Digital sales, which compromises of online sales and sales via in-store iPads, now makes up just shy of 10% of total sales and represents Myer's largest store, the company reported.

"The continued strong growth in digital sales, now representing our largest store and 9.8% of total sales, was particularly pleasing," Myer chief executive and managing director John King said.

"This growth reflects both the upgraded website that was launched in September 2018 and a significant increase in products available online, which included the addition of several concessions.

"We aim to match our store and online ranges by the end of this calendar year and are confident that there are significant opportunities to continue to grow this channel."

See also: The top challenges organisations face at digital transformation (TechRepublic)

Despite the lift in digital sales, it was still not enough to boost total sales, which was down 3.5% to just under AU$3 billion for FY19.

The company's statutory net profit after tax came in at AU$24.5 million, compared to the AU$486 million loss in FY18; while earnings before interest, depreciation, tax, and amortisation was AU$160 million, up 7.2% from AU$149.4 million year-on-year.

Myer also reported a AU$32.6 million reduction in cost of doing business, which it said was reflected in improved efficiencies both in stores and at the support office, as well as cost savings achieved in IT, occupancy, and marketing.

Depreciation also increased during the full year by AU$7.6 million to AU$101.6 million, which the company said was partly due to its investment in its online store as was investment in new technology associated with improving back-of-house efficiencies in stores.  

Looking ahead, Myer has vowed that it will continue to invest in its online business to further improve customer experience, with expectations that key improvements will be introduced ahead of Christmas, as well as a reduction in duplication and simplification across all business areas.

 "We believe further opportunities exist to reduce costs, particularly in our supply chain," the company said.

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