Myer CEO calls for Dec rate cut
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SYDNEY, Nov 22 AAP
November 22 2012, 12:03AM
An interest rate cut in December will give the non-mining sector a boost and support retailers in the lead-up to Christmas, Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes says.
Mr Brookes said Myer was expecting a flat to slightly positive Christmas, and an interest rate cut would give the department store "a bit of a kick" heading into the traditionally busy trading period.
"For us, we would love to see a December rate cut," Mr Brookes told reporters after speaking at the Australian Retailers Association annual awards breakfast in Sydney on Thursday.
"We think the environment warrants a December rate cut and so we will keep our fingers crossed that the Reserve Bank decides to cut interest rates when the December announcement is made."
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept the cash rate unchanged at 3.25 per cent at its Melbourne Cup day board meeting.
However, central bank governor Glenn Stevens said earlier this week the RBA was open to further rate cuts in the period ahead should conditions warrant such a move.
Mr Brookes said Myer's best-performing states for the past two years had been Western Australia and Queensland.
However, the gap between its stores in those two states and the rest of the country had narrowed in recent times, as the mining boom showed signs of slowing and the other states produced improved performances.
"Moving forward, if we can get a couple of interest rate decreases to try and kick start some of the economy and compensate for mining coming back, to me it is going to help retail trade in general and certainly going to help Myer," Mr Brookes said.
Mr Brookes said a lower Australian dollar would also give local retailers a boost.
Meanwhile, Mr Brookes said the Click Frenzy online sales promotion was a runaway success and provided retailers some good lessons about selling online.
Myer said it achieved record online sales on its website on Tuesday, then promptly doubled that again on Wednesday.
While Myer's website stayed online, the Click Frenzy website crashed as a flood of users tried to log on.
"Sure the website crashed. It crashed on the night, but it worked bloody well yesterday (Wednesday) and it gave us some tremendous sales," Mr Brookes said.
"You never get things right first time. We are still in a nursery in online and sometimes in that nursery the kids cry and sometimes they need to have a quiet sleep."
Myer was among many retailers to take part in the 24-hour online sale promotion.
At 1154 AEDT, Myer was up four cents, or 1.9 per cent, at $2.14.