David Jones and Myer certainly keep a close eye on one another, constantly comparing pricing, sales tactics, product range and presentation. It’s a real battle of margins and at times resembles a fight among the last of the dinosaurs. Take the third quarter figures for sales. Last week Coles Myer reported a 3% rise in third quarter sales and a 2% rise in same store sales growth for the 13 weeks to 24 April.

Today David Jones produced its third quarter sales figures for the 13 weeks to 30 April (here). They showed a slower rate of growth: top line sales were up only 2.3% and same store sales up a tiny 0.3% (which equated to $1 million more in sales from the third quarter last year). On the face of it pretty anaemic.

But David Jones directors and their advisers are a canny lot, so they also gave us sales figures “using the same calendar weeks as our major department store competitor.” According to DJs its sales growth in the Coles Myer quarter was 5.4% gross and 1.6% on a same store basis.

Better looking figures, naturally. As said, the retailers keep a close watch on each other.