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Myer well-placed to take on Amazon: CEO

 

Myer chief executive Richard Umbers says he is confident the department store chain can compete with e-commerce giant Amazon that's rumoured to arrive in Australia later this year.

Mr Umbers says Australia's geography poses some logistical challenges for Amazon that it does not have in the US and UK, but even so, he admits the online behemoth will be a formidable competitor.

"We have made a number of changes to our organisational structure to make sure we can double down and continue to invest in online," Mr Umbers said.

"I think we are well positioned to compete with anybody."

Talking to analysts after Myer reported results on Thursday, Mr Umbers said a lot of Myer's fashion products were items people wanted to see and touch before buying and that was the advantage that omnichannel businesses, ones with brick and mortar and online stores, would have over Amazon.

"There are lots of good reasons why you would want to come to a physical store rather than an impersonal online channel that doesn't offer the benefits we offer," he told AAP.

"(However) Amazon is a professional, competent and highly regarded player so I have no doubt they will take some of the market."

He said Amazon would grow the entire online shopping pie, and while retailers would lose some market share, those with strong online stores would likely experience growth in sales.

Myer's online sales revenue grew 48 per cent during the six months to January 28 with with internet purchases now accounting for 10 per cent of its homeswares sales.