Myer profits drop 17.5%

Myer’s (ASX:MYR) profits fell 17.5% fall in the second half of fiscal year 2012.

The retailer’s net profit was $88.04 million for the six-month period ending January 28, according to an interim financial report released today.

The retail giant recorded sales of $1.43 billion in six months – a 1.7% reduction on the previous period. Comparable store sales were down 3%.

Myer Holdings (ASX:MYR) was down 4.64% to $2.26 at 3.30pm today.

Myer CEO Bernie Brookes says increases in Myer-exclusive brands and reductions in shrinkage, or shoplifting, have improved the business.

Myer says it is progressing its five-point plan to improve customer service, enhance its brand mix, strengthen its loyalty program, improve online sales and optimise the store network.

“Our online sales are growing rapidly and we recognise there remains significant opportunity to capitalise on the strength of the Myer brand,” Brookes said in a statement.

The first Myer store opened in 1900 in Bendigo, Victoria, by Russian migrant Sidney Myer. He later bought a drapery business at Myer’s current Bourke Street site in Melbourne.

Myer is famous in Australian retailing history for his method of driving sales.

Upon noticing the empty sales floor, he reportedly arranged the store’s fabric rolls into a messy, disorganized mixture of colour and texture – immediately drawing in customers who thought it was a bargain table. The floor quickly transformed into a competitive buzz as customers fought over bolts of fabric, increasing sales.

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