Retail in Asia

In Shops

Myer chief retails “tale of woe”

Myer boss Bernie Brookes has described Australia’s retail landscape as a ”tale of woe” where sector growth will remain below 3 percent for the next few years due to consumer angst over rising energy prices, steeper healthcare and education costs and the carbon tax.

The CEO of the country’s biggest department store also warned that higher penalty rates and the current industrial relations framework would lead to many shops shedding staff and reducing their trading hours.

Speaking at a Financial Services Council lunch in Melbourne on Thursday, Brookes said the pain was being felt across the discretionary retail industry and that he feared further company collapses following a string of failures in the past two years. ”What we are seeing in retail is really a tale of woe, we are seeing the most difficult time I have encountered in nearly 36 years that I have been involved in retail. I have not seen it as difficult, as consistently difficult, than what it is today,” Brookes said.