Online vs in Store - How Do Places Like Myer Hope to Survive?

So I was up late last night searching for some new clothes and found some things that I liked at Myer. Online shopping doesn’t really work out for me for clothes (often the fit is out) so I went in store today to try things on. As it turned out one item I had my eye on fit perfectly, another was terrible and I found another I hadn’t seen online that I liked. I went to purchase two items. At the counter the prices were higher than online (sale is planned for this weekend but it kicks in online before in store). The store person was willing to discount to online prices but asked me to calculate the % discount (so she was able to put it through) and show her each online price. She was a nice enough person and everything went okay, but I thought all the hoops to jump through for the advertised price were a bit silly.

These discrepancies between online and in store pricing continue to baffle me - how do places like Myer hope to survive? I actually really want the store front to stay as I like to try things on. I also like the in store customer experience and assume retail workers hope to have jobs. There’s also things like getting make up colours matched or feeling the texture of something that don’t translate online. I also want malls to still exist as they have lots of other benefits (restaurants, play areas, air con/a roof when raining) beyond just the stores. I just can’t see how face to face stores can survive if same store is selling the exact same thing online for less. I definitely know that we are so lucky to have what we have regardless.

This has ended up more a rant than a post but feel free to vote and comment regardless.

Poll Options

  • 7
    I prefer online shopping and am happy for store fronts to go
  • 60
    I want in store shopping to be an option


  • +1

    Same at many stores..
    I.e, Petbarn, online is always cheaper, but they just match it in-store, so all good..

    • +1

      I found this to be a hassle (like standing around for 5 minutes) so with them I just do click and collect.

  • +2

    There’s enough people that don’t mind paying full price to have something now. It’s declining but still sizeable amount of population do.

    • Yep, I kinda figured that when I was going through the process. ie there’s still enough people who don’t compare with online prices even from the same store, so they can still make money from those people.

  • +2

    I think what you're talking about is more around experience, and the potential lack thereof you felt at Myer.
    The best companies have their online and in-store offerings playing hand-in-hand, and they know the role of each. I feel like there is a lot of companies, department stores in particular, who are trying to be too many things to too many people, and so are actually not that great at anything.
    I believe there will always be a place for physical retail stores, but they have to know exactly what they are trying to do, look at something like AESOP for example, at the end of the day, its just flash hand wash, but their stores are an experience, which is why people go there.
    (not me, im a palmolive man through and through….)

  • +2

    Plenty of people don't care much about prices, and won't look online. They gave Myer more profit than you did.

    Others are price sensitive, and will even be motivated to visit the store after seeing attractive products at a good price. In this case you gave Myer some profit they would not have received without the online offer.

    It is tricky to balance, but they need to capture both to stay in business (still to be determined, imo)

  • +3

    I actually enjoy being able to spend a weekend to go out to a store like Myer and actually see the products I'm buying. Often when there are big cashback increases it's good to see it instore, then buy online with delivery/c&c.

    Shopping at Bunnings exclusively online wouldn't be the same. Trawling the countless aisles for bargains, seeing people you know, seeing some doggos and a sausage to end it all.

    • sausage at the end? Controversy!

    • Surely the sauso is on the way in? Got to fuel all that trawling!

      • +1

        Don't know anyone that does it that way.

        • What state are you in?
          Doesn't make sense to me to be trying to get a sausage with your hands full or a trolley on the way out. Grab it on the way in and walk around with it. I'd say most do it that way in Perth. Some don't like going in to the shop with it (which is fair enough) so stand out the front and eat it

          • @whitelie: Or you know put your stuff in the car and get it when you return your trolley.

            • @Clear: You take your trolley all the way back to the store entrance? No trolley returns in the carpark?

              • @whitelie: Seems you park all the way at the back.

                • @Clear: Generally, yes.
                  Don't like carpark dents in the slightest

      • I’m a sausage at the end person too. Don’t want to be walking round trying to look at things whilst eating a sausage.

        • +1

          Maybe I'm in the minority here….might have to start a poll

          • +1

            @whitelie: The real answer is one on the way in and another one on the way out.

  • +2

    You're assuming the spending habits and consumption patterns of a tiny minority of consumers (OzBargainers) represent the overwhelming majority of Australians, who are nowhere near as savvy nor inclined to research their purchases/investments nor obsessed with saving a measly percentage on every purchase.

    Plenty of dolts out there still wander around shopping centres all weekend long as a recreational pastime and casually drop a few hundred dollars on the basis of being agreeable because they can't say no to a salesperson.

    • -1

      Yeah, you’re right - I did think that at the time. I still find it super weird though, as the difference in price over two items was $50. Do people just pay full price and not care what else they could have done with $50? It’s also way more efficient to research the items online first so you’ve got an idea what is in stock.

  • -3

    Boomers won't be around forever, and they're 90% of myer's customers.

  • -1

    I posed that question in 1990 something when I bought my first book from Amazon but clearly some people like going to the shops.

  • Went with the wife the other day to find some maternity clothes…shopping centre was like a ghost town, hardly anyone there. Sales people were all rude (went to 3 different shops, all the same attitude). We both used to like going and spending half a day shopping, browsing etc but not anymore. With essentially free next day delivery with places like Amazon, it's hard to justify going in to a store for me.

    • +1

      I wish the shopping centres I visit were ghost towns, always so hard to get a parking spot even lately.

  • -1

    Myer is the dodo before it became extinct.

    Anyone who is a shareholder there will get a better outcome dropping their hard earned on blow and hookers.

  • +1

    I think you kinda answered yourself in a way. There are things that you can't get delivered or things that do not translate well to online shopping.

    Brick and mortar stores I don't think will disappear. Though they would have to adapt and change.

    I for example, still prefer to go in stores to buy my hobby related things (which I haven't done in awhile since COVID). It is slightly more expensive (i.e. I don't get the discounts that I can get and I have to travel there), but it allows me to talk with the shop owner, hear about what is going on in the hobby, get marketing materials that they get (like flyers and booklets), listen to the owner's recommendations and whatnots and I do like those kind of services.

    Though, one store lost me completely because of how rude their staff was.

  • -1

    the investment in shopping centres protects companies like Myer and david jones who are linked directly to those centres.

    australian conglomerates even though foreign owned make money exploiting interlinked shopping centres.

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