By Cheyanne Enciso
Australia’s two biggest department stores are set to ditch well-known brands and shift their focus to housing their own ‘private labels’ over the next few years.
The shift is expected to keep Myer and David Jones competitive in what has become a challenging market.
“[The shift] can provide a competitive advantage to each of their brands, if they have good designs at prices that are also appealing to consumers,” says Dr Min Teah, marketing lecturer at Curtin University.
But first, she says department stores need to identify the customer groups they’re serving.
“The retail market in apparel is very competitive and therefore, knowing who they are serving would result in success in the department store and with their customers,” she says.
Teah adds this shift could mean concession brands have less access to their current customers. Concession brands are like mini pop-up stores for certain brands.
“However, if what they are supplying is too generic, does not really meet current consumer demand or it is easily substituted or bought online, I would not assume it would have made much difference.”
Myer’s local brands include Basque, Milkshake apparel and Vue homewares.
While Studio W and Re: are just some of the brands owned by David Jones’ parent company, Woolworths Holding Limited.
Carmen Cohen, a sales assistant at David Jones, says both consumers and department stores will miss out.
“They’ll lose customers because people are going to want variety.”
“I don’t think consumers are going be very happy with having to go to different places to look for different things,” says Cohen.
As for the concession brands, Cohen thinks it’ll be good for them, as there’ll be less competition.
Chanel, MIMCO, Michael Kors, and Steve Madden are just a few concession brands that are currently housed in Myer and David Jones.
This shift is set to be rolled out over the next five years.