Could Myer reinvent the future of department stores by becoming a tech leader?

In a letter to shareholders, chairman Garry Hounsell has unveiled a new vision for the retailer.

Since January, Myer has aligned key digital, data, loyalty and financial services businesses under COO Mark Cripsey.

Hounsell said this has led to significant achievements including the launch of Zippy,
an ‘all-in-one’ team member fulfilment app, which has significantly improved the time and cost to fulfil.

It also includes the launch of Myer Market, in conjunction with Marketplacer, and a relaunched Myer One app which has seen its rating soar to 4.6 stars in the App store.

"To date, our focus for these businesses has been to support the core business," Hounsell said.

"However, there is no doubt that there is significant longer term potential to leverage these assets to support initiatives outside our core retailing business.

"These are not traditional retail assets, they are assets relating to technology, media, and publishing as well as insights and analytics."

Hounsell said the management team is considering the value in the digital products it creates.

This could include licensing its Zippy solution to other retailers, hiring new talent from start-up companies and creating new digital products for the market.

"We are currently considering establishing separate business units for the Myer One and Myer Online businesses," Hounsell continued.

"By adopting a more single-minded focus on them, we believe we will be able to drive these assets harder and faster.

"Separate business units may also enable a clearer and more appropriate valuation of these assets."

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