Aussie department store wars: Myer now exclusive retailer of Aesop

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Aussie department store wars: Myer now exclusive retailer of Aesop
Myer has announced an agreement with Aesop to become its exclusive department store retailer, a week after competitor David Jones swiped a few brands from its portfolio.

This announcement means that the Australian skin care brand will no longer be stocked at David Jones, which carries the brand at most of its stores.

“Myer is the ultimate beauty destination in the Australian market and the announcement of this exclusive partnership with Aesop adds further strength to our already compelling beauty and grooming offers,”​ said Sue Price, Myer's general manager of cosmetics.

All in on Aesop

Myer currently sells Aesop products in 11 stores and on its e-store. Recently, it opened four Aesop counters and has plans to open another three in the coming months, each with its own unique interior design.

The three additional counters will be opened in Myer’s in Chermside and Maroochydoore stores in 2018, and Garden City in Perth in 2019.

Aesop’s consultants will be available at each of the brand’s counters to demonstrate formulations and to offer personalised skin care recommendations.

Aesop was established in Melbourne in 1987 and is currently owned by Brazillian company Natura Cosméticos.

Retaliating move

The move did not come as a surprise as David Jones emptied more than a few of Myer’s shelves after announcing that it intended to be the exclusive retailer for Country Road, Mimco, and Politix.

The three brands are all owned by South African retailer Woolworths Holdings, the parent company of David Jones.

In addition to those, David Jones signed exclusive deals with four other brands that were stocked at Myers: Isabel Marant, Kenzo, Nautica, and Scotch & Soda.

Last year, Myer signed a few new fashion brands including 2XU, Jack & Jones, Forever New, Quiksilver, and Roxy. However, its cosmetics department continue to remain the store’s strongest.

Department store trouble

The tug-of-war of brands between David Jones and Myers is a result of poor sales performance from both brands.

In March, Myer reported that sales declined 3.6% for the first half of the year, with sales dropping 4.2% in the second quarter.

The company has been embroiled in a lawsuit brought by shareholders who claim the company had not been honest about profit forecasts.

After a “significantly disruptive and difficult year”, ​David Jones profits fell 50%.

However, the company believes the worst may be behind them as sales saw 2.7% growth during the second half of the year.

Online sales for the two department stores have been strong. Myer’s online sales grew by 48.9%, while David Jones’ increased by 21.4%.

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