Myer’s online woes one glitch in solid post-Christmas sales nationally

Myer’s e-commerce battles on Boxing Day were a glitch in what the Australian Retailers Association described as a “really good” post-Christmas sales period for Australian retailers.

The department store retailer struck a major technical problem with its website on Boxing Day followed by around a week of issues where some customers were unable to conduct transactions, Fairfax reported.

Myer chief executive officer Bernie Brookes told Fairfax that a communication issue between a software application and internet servers was the issue.

The retailer has offered customers a period of free delivery and website-only specials as an apology to customers.

Brookes said the problem would not decrease Myer’s profitability due to the small intake it receives from online sales.

Nationally, retailers appear to be on track to achieve solid sales for the post-Christmas period, ARA director Russell Zimmerman told SmartCompany.

Zimmerman says it was likely the predicted post-Christmas sales spend of $15.1 billion would be achieved, which is up 2% on the 2013 predicted figure of $14.8 billion.

Actual spend for the same period in 2013 was $14.6 billion. If this year’s prediction is reached, it will be a 3.8% rise.

“I was in Pitt Street Mall (Sydney) on Boxing Day and it was wall-to-wall with people” he says.

“People were still lining up outside Myer at 5pm to get in.”

He says he has spoken to retailers since Boxing Day and most seemed satisfied with sales results.

“Things are still going well, I think we will make or exceed the prediction.”

According to the ARA and Roy Morgan Research, the café sector is forecast to do well, up 6.2% on the last year. Sales in the apparel sector are forecast to rise 3.9% to $1.14 billion and food sales are expected to jump 3.8% to $6.23 billion.

“Food is always a big number…the holiday time is when people are eating out more” says Zimmerman.

Zimmerman says state-by-state post-Christmas sales spend per person is predicted to be: New South Wales $618, Victoria $659, Queensland $680, Western Australia $725, South Australia $614, Tasmania $581, Northern Territory $626 and ACT $725.

The post-Christmas sale period ends in mid-January with official figures to be released around March.

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