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Myer foresees tenfold rise in online sales

MYER will close some stores in coming years as more of its customers buy products online.

Bernie Brookes, Myer chief executive, says less than 1 per cent of his company's sales are online, but he expects that figure to increase to 10 per cent within five years.

That means he will close some "non-performing" or "marginal" stores before they become unprofitable, he told the ABC's Inside Business program yesterday.

"None of them are losing money, but what we are doing is looking forward and saying if the internet is 10 per cent of our business, then naturally some of those stores that are marginal might go underwater, so therefore we need to make that move," he said.

But Mr Brookes said he doubted online sales in Australia would grow past 10 per cent, and that Myer planned to have more stores open in five years' than it does now.

But analysts say any new stores Myer opens will likely be smaller. "They might have more stores but they're actual sales space is going to be reduced," David Liu, from ATI Asset Management, said.

"Their online strategy at this stage is not comparable, in terms of quality of offering or engagement with the customer, than what other competitors have … but it's very early stages in terms of their move into this [online] channel."