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Myer Melbourne to build a World Class Department Store

23
Jul '08
The Myer Melbourne redevelopment is about to rapidly move into its next phase as the iconic city building is transformed into a brand new world-class department store. While our buyers negotiate worldclass ranges and fit outs for the store we continue to phase the development to minimise disruption to our customers and staff.

To ensure this and to allow the work to be completed altogether, the planned stage two has been hastened and the developers will be closing large sections of the Bourke Street store. Major works need to be completed in the Bourke Street store, and after consulting with the developers and builders, it was agreed to shut part of the building to hasten the completion of the project. As a result, levels one through to five in the Bourke Street store will be closed until the new store is ready to open at the end of 2009.

We will be relocating the businesses in the Bourke Street store into the Lonsdale Street store, and therefore it will be 'business as usual' in the Lonsdale Street store and the bottom two floors of Bourke Street. Apart from removing furniture to the store the range on offer will be the same as it is today.

The moves will begin once the Stock take Sale is near completion to again ensure minimal inconvenience to our loyal customers. Myer Chief Executive Officer Bernie Brookes has welcomed the announcement, saying Melbourne will have a brand new store in around 18 months time. “This is an important decision for Myer and the people of Melbourne. Now the countdown really begins to our brand new world-class department store, which will rival those in Paris, New York and London,” he said.

“Obviously we have put our customers forefront in this announcement, as we believe by ensuring most of the redevelopment work is completed in 'one hit' there will in effect be only two major moves – this one and then the move back into the new store,” Mr Brookes said.

Mr Brookes also confirmed the moves will take place at night thereby minimising the impact on customers and trade.

We have already announced these changes to our Team Members at our Melbourne store and, over the next few days we will be working with a number of our casual team members whose rosters may be impacted by department changes. It may necessitate a reduction in hours for some of the casual team, but we will look to increasing these hours once again when we approach our Christmas peak trade period.

The only temporary change to our offer in the Melbourne store at this stage will be the removal of our furniture department, however we will be looking at stocking a range of furniture in some of our other Victorian stores to ensure that our customers have access to our great range of furniture at their local Myer store.

Head of Development at Colonial First State Property Management, Tony Gilchrist, said that “the
decision of Myer to vacate the upper levels of the Bourke Street store will enable the redevelopment of the store to be undertaken in a far more efficient manner and we will be able to separate the building activity from the retailing better than was originally envisaged”.


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