Many have claimed ‘The department store era is over’. The argument is easily summarised: online competition and the flood of international retailers such as Zara, H&M, Topshop, Uniqlo and Sephora into Australia mean department stores are the dinosaurs of the retailing industry.
There’s just one problem – the facts don’t necessarily support a dire conclusion. Yes, some Australian department stores have been suffering. A quick glance at Myer’s margins over the past half-decade tells the story (see Chart 1).