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Myer hits back at Premier Investments

Petrina Berry
Myer has hit back at Premier Investments' latest attack, denying there's been too much discounting

Solomon Lew's Premier Investments is running a hostile and obstructive campaign designed to destabilise Myer, the department store chain says.

Myer executive chairman Garry Hounsell has hit back at Premier Investments' latest attack following a slide in its third quarter sales, and rejected its largest shareholder's claim that there has been "extreme discounting" during the past three months.

"Premier Investments continues to be engaged in a hostile and obstructive campaign that appears to be designed to destabilise Myer," Mr Hounsell said.

This comes after Mr Lew sent a letter to Myer shareholders on Friday, warning them to brace for another company profit downgrade after the retailer reported that its third-quarter sales dropped 2.7 per cent to $635.3 million.

Mr Lew, who has made it clear he wants to overhaul Myer's board for not arresting an ongoing sales decline, also said Myer's aggressive sales have failed to turn its fortunes around.

He also took aim again at Mr Hounsell for drawing a salary of $83,000 per month in the role he took up after CEO Richard Umbers stepped down in February.

Myer's response issued on Wednesday said Mr Hounsell was not self-appointed as Premier claims and that there was an appropriate board process following Mr Umber's departure.

"Mr Hounsell has acted swiftly to secure a new CEO, John King, who has highly relevant international department store and retail experience," the company's statement said.

Myer's key like-for-like sales, which strips out new stores and closures, fell 3.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to April 28, which was a slight improvement on the 3.6 per cent sales slump in the second quarter.