Myer - History - Target, Grace Bros and Merger With GJ Coles

Target, Grace Bros and Merger With GJ Coles

In 1968, Myer acquired Geelong's Lindsay's stores, renaming the business Target following the purchase of name and logo from US Target Corporation and positioning it as a discount department store chain.

In 1983, Grace Bros. bought Myer NSW, and then in July of that year Myer acquired Grace Bros. Holdings Ltd. The Myer store on Market and Pitt Sts in Sydney became the main Grace Bros. store.

In 1984, Myer acquired Boans Ltd, the dominant Western Australian department store chain and embarked on a major redevelopment of its Perth City Store.

In 1985 the Myer Emporium (and Target, its discount department store) merged with GJ Coles & Coy forming Coles Myer Limited, then Australia's largest retailer. Myer remained a distinct entity within the new corporate structure until it was sold in 2006.

At the post-Christmas sales in 1992, the glass doors to the Grace Bros Sydney City store were shattered by a stampede of shoppers.

In 2000, Coles Myer CEO Dennis Eck, faced with lower sales and profits from Myer and Grace Bros. stores took the department stores down market, reducing service levels, increasing stock volumes on the selling floor and introducing product to appeal to younger consumers. In doing so, he ended up replicating the approach of another of Coles Myer's chains, Target. The resulting effect included reduced customer visits and reduced units sold per transaction. In 2001, Coles Myer set about to reposition the store to appeal to customers lost in the down market experiment.

In 2003, one of the key changes made by the recently appointed Managing Director, Dawn Robertson, was to classify each Myer Grace Bros. store using a grid system referencing the socio-economic status of the area, its turnover and growth potential. Larger city-centre stores would rank at the top of the grid and smaller regional stores would rank at the bottom of the grid. The grid would affect the merchandise allocated to each store, rather than selling the same range of product in downtown Melbourne as in regional Queensland.

On 13 February 2004, Grace Bros. stores were rebranded as Myer.

In April 2004, Myer re-opened its Bondi Junction, New South Wales, store which replaced a former Grace Bros. store closed in April 2002 to make way for the redevelopment of Westfield Bondi Junction. It was the first Myer store to open in several years and incorporated new features such as white glossy floor tiles, extensive use of glass, and greater use of mannequins.

Under managing director Dawn Robertson, Myer began to target the Sydney market more strongly, to challenge the position of chief rival David Jones particularly in ladies fashion. In February 2004, Myer held its Sydney fashion parade the day before David Jones. On 9 August 2004, Myer staged a fashion parade open-air in Martin Place, gaining widespread attention, and again was held the day before David Jones' show.

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