Do Department Stores Have A Future In Australia?

Do Department Stores Have A Future In Australia?

In this analysis piece, Australasian Catalogue Association CEO Kellie Northwood (pictured below) does some crystal-balling on the survival of department stores, and explains why one media and marketing channel could save their bacon.

Kellie Northwood

With digital giant Amazon having just touched down in Australia and marking its territory within the retail space, how will local department stores compete?

Looking to the US, where Amazon and other online retailers are in full swing, the April 2016 retail figures saw department store sales decline by 5.6 per cent, while online retailers increase by 10.7 per cent in the same period.

A year later, online retailers gained even more momentum growing a further 15 per cent, while department stores declined 0.2 per cent.

Retail figures in Australia are telling a different story across the same period, seeing a 2.5 per cent lift in department stores.

The interesting piece in this puzzle is every one to two months prior to a retail lift is a catalogue distribution lift. Is that why catalogue marketing remains a key retailer tool?

While Amazon will undoubtedly shake things up in Australia, one thing is for sure when it comes to Aussie and retailers – we love catalogues.

Catalogues have a strong reach of 20.1 million and readership at 69 per cent. Readership for discount department stores sits at a high number of around three million, and brands are using this strong readership to create engaging catalogues that appeal to, and remain in, the minds of customers.

‘Lookbooks’

David Jones introduced a seasonal publication showcasing the latest trends of the season through the eyes of stylists, making its traditional catalogue emulate a ‘lookbook’.

The brand books are a clever way to promote high street fashion and accessories, while reinforcing premium brand positioning.

The publication allows David Jones to place a piece of its brand in the lives of consumers, acting as an effective disrupter to establish it as the go-to luxury fashion chain.

Along with increasing brand awareness among consumers, David Jones’ brand books were recognised by industry peers for excellence at the annual Australasian Catalogue Awards this year, taking home three gongs for its strong brand messaging saturating every page.

Personalisation

At Myer, the ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t cutting it anymore, with the 2016 MYER Giftorium Christmas catalogue offering MYER One members an individual experience with their names featuring on the front, back and throughout the catalogue.

This direct mail approach saw a 3.4 per cent increase in sales, and demonstrated that catalogues resonate well with consumers when they target specific audience groups.

Frequency

For budget retailers, the only way to stand out from the rest is to promote their steep markdown on prices.

Kmart is infamous for its low prices on sought-after products, contributing to its transformation from bargain basement to success story.

Kmart customers need regular reminding of its ‘low prices, everyday’ in-store bargains, and its fortnightly catalogue showcases an extensive range of ‘must have’ products, with the reward of great value attracting consumers in store.

Kmart’s Play Your Way catalogue delivered strong results, according to its brand tracker for ad engagement, with 75 per cent of respondents indicating that they loved reading the catalogue, and 71 per cent indicating it made them think Kmart has the latest on trend products.

Seasonal sales

Target uses catalogue marketing to establish its brand positioning by promoting seasonal sales.

By promoting sales around holidays such as Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day through catalogue, it enables Target to entice consumers instore at precious purchase months.

Consumers are made aware of the ‘value’ available, and from this, appealing to their intent to purchase.

Product range

Specialty department stores such as Harris Scarfe engage readers with products on offer through a tabloid-style catalogue.

No space is spared as product range and sales hit you in the face from the time you pick it up, to when you put it down – there is no doubt – you will have access to a wide range of products and great value.

These catalogues act as a platform to hold longer conversations allowing the brand to remain in the mind of consumers.

Despite the advancements in online shopping, Australian department stores are still able to establish brand presence through catalogues.

They are the direct gateway into consumers’ lives, providing insight into what’s instore, and are proving to be a success for retailers capturing consumers’ attention and launching them into action.

Department stores: take note of this strength to increase store sales and respond to the rise of online shopping. Similarly, online retailers are also becoming savvy catalogue marketers.

The battle lines are drawn. Watching the retail space in the coming months will be interesting indeed.

This article is part of a content collaboration between B&T and the Australasian Catalogue Association.




Latest News

NAB Launches Latest Take On “More than Money” Via TBWA\Melbourne
  • Campaigns

NAB Launches Latest Take On “More than Money” Via TBWA\Melbourne

NAB, in partnership with TBWA\Melbourne and Mindshare, has unveiled its latest campaign dubbed “Wrangle Your Money”. The national campaign demonstrates how NAB is supporting and empowering customers to make better financial moves. As part of the “More Than Money” brand platform, the latest work comes at a pivotal time as the country continues to grapple […]

Activation Union Hires Bree Mankin As Managing Partner
  • Media

Activation Union Hires Bree Mankin As Managing Partner

Activation Union is thrilled to announce the appointment of Bree Mankin as Managing Partner. In this pivotal role, Bree will spearhead the agency’s growth initiatives and client strategy, leveraging her extensive experience and innovative approach in delivering exceptional results for her clients. With over two decades of experience in marketing and communications, Bree is a […]

Toyota Launches Integrated Electric Vehicle Campaign Via HERO
  • Campaigns

Toyota Launches Integrated Electric Vehicle Campaign Via HERO

Toyota Australia has launched its highly anticipated new all-electric vehicle, the bZ4X, on Australian shores through a nationwide integrated campaign. Spearheaded by a big spot, the campaign was created by independent creative agency HERO, which sees a typical EV sceptic named Barry behind the wheel of an all-new Toyota bZ4X much to the surprise of […]

Canva Launches First Ever Podcast: Design Surfaces
  • Media

Canva Launches First Ever Podcast: Design Surfaces

Canva has announced its very first podcast: Design Surfaces. Covering all areas of design, from brand campaigns to UX flows, the podcast digs deep into the intricate parts of designers’ brains to unearth valuable insights, unique perspectives, and what makes them tick. The Design specialty at Canva is made up of some of the most […]

SBS Launches Development Fund To Find Australia’s Next Top Documentaries
  • Media

SBS Launches Development Fund To Find Australia’s Next Top Documentaries

SBS is searching for its most daring, unflinchingly fearless and boundary-smashing factual format yet, issuing a call out for impactful ideas for new documentary series unlike anything seen on Australian screens before, with up to $50,000 in development funding on offer. Announced this morning at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in Melbourne, SBS is […]

Resolution Nabs Sarah Truong From PHD
  • Advertising

Resolution Nabs Sarah Truong From PHD

Full-service media agency Resolution has appointed Sarah Truong as head of investment to lead the agency’s investment product. Sarah joins from PHD where she was Group Investment Director for half a decade. With 14 years’ experience in the media industry including seven years at media agency, Carat, Sarah a proven track record for delivering results-driven […]

Brisbane Unveils Bold New Tourism Campaign
  • Campaigns

Brisbane Unveils Bold New Tourism Campaign

Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) has launched a new domestic tourism campaign, Brisbane Favours the Bold, this week, appealing to those who search for the unexpected to discover the new Brisbane. Created in partnership with VML and dentsu Queensland, the campaign aims to redefine perceptions of Queensland’s thriving capital, strengthen awareness of Brisbane’s leisure offering, […]

Elle Returns To Australia
  • Media

Elle Returns To Australia

Are Media, Australia’s leading omnichannel content company for women, today unveiled the keenly anticipated first issue of the new ELLE Australia magazine. The 244-page Bright Young Things issue – featuring actor Sophie Wilde on the cover – clearly stamps ELLE Australia as the fashion bible for smart, stylish Gen Z and millennial women who love […]

Potential Fallout For The Sydney Roosters In The Wake Of Racial Slur Allegations
  • Marketing

Potential Fallout For The Sydney Roosters In The Wake Of Racial Slur Allegations

The Sydney Roosters are facing a huge amount of fallout over allegations that Spencer Leniu made an on-field racial slur against Broncos player Ezra Mam in yesterday’s Las Vegas season opener. Mam filed an official complaint against Leniu after the Roosters prop allegedly called the Broncos five-eighth a “monkey” on the field. Leniu tried to […]

Nominate Your Marketing Heroines: ADMA Celebrates Women’s Achievements On International Women’s Day 2024
  • Marketing

Nominate Your Marketing Heroines: ADMA Celebrates Women’s Achievements On International Women’s Day 2024

To celebrate International Women’s Day, The Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA), has launched a new initiative to honour and spotlight the dynamic women in the marketing sector across the country. Lead image: ADMA Website This year, as the world embraces the theme #InspireInclusion for International Women’s Day on March 8, ADMA is asking […]

Nine.com.au & Drive Join Forces To Launch P-Plate Drive Safe Campaign
  • Campaigns

Nine.com.au & Drive Join Forces To Launch P-Plate Drive Safe Campaign

With the Easter break historically one of the busiest on our roads, Nine.com.au and Drive today launched a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the importance of defensive driver training courses. Too many young drivers are killed or injured on our roads each year. Younger drivers are the most overrepresented group in this tragic statistic, […]