Feb 5, 2014

Store wars: a new hope for merger between Myer and David Jones?

Would a Myer-David Jones merger rescue the ailing department store giants, or is their model too antiquated to be saved?

Paddy Manning

Crikey business editor

David Jones and Myer are already shaping up as the business story of 2014. Two of Australia’s most venerable companies are mired in a clumsy debacle that has left their 20,000 employees in limbo, with both CEOs departing, and a $3 billion merger proposal — somehow alive and dead, unthinkable and inevitable — swinging in the breeze.

David Jones chairman Peter Mason’s decision to approve share purchases by two of his directors — a day after receiving Myer’s undisclosed merger proposal, and three days before release of a market-sensitive sales update they were privy to — has gone beyond a dry governance debate about appropriate share trading windows for directors. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission did a two-month investigation into allegations of insider trading and came up with insufficient evidence, surprising most commentators, and today’s explanation in The Australian Financial Review by ASIC commissioner John Price raises more questions than it answers.

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4 thoughts on “Store wars: a new hope for merger between Myer and David Jones?

  1. Zarb Michael

    At David Jones, sales were $1.99 billion in the 2009 financial year and $1.85 million in the 2013 financial year

    That is quite the drop…

  2. Malcolm Street

    A few months ago my partner and I were wandering around our local mall (Belconnen Mall, Canberra), and after walking through Myer I opined that I couldn’t see the point in a department store any more – it’s just a mall within a mall. Its various departments just duplicate market segments which are better handled by the many specialist shops in the mall proper.

    The abysmal online sales just show that management is totally clueless about the world changing around them. But don’t worry, they’ll complain about penalty rates instead…

  3. Bizzybags

    Malcolm not 100% interchangeable, Myers stocks larger size clothing for both genders at an equivelant price to “normal” sizes, something that is prohibitivly more expensive at specialty stores.

    A sly effort to encorage weight loss? Perhaps, but “skinny” cloths are no cheaper either. Of course I’d buy online if I had certainty in consistent sizing…

  4. Malcolm Street

    My partner is big (tall and big framed) and while she looks in Myer she prefers to shop in Autograph and other large size specialists.

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