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Australia’s top retailers in a ‘death spiral’, and it’s not only because of the internet

The decline of Australia’s middle class is partly to blame for the poor performance of retailers Myer and David Jones according to new research.

It comes after the value of David Jones was drastically reduced by it’s South African owners Woolworths last week.

Sean Sands, Associate Professor of Marketing at Swinburne University told 3AW Breakfast the “hollowing out of the middle class” had changed retail shopping habits.

“Middle class incomes are not increasing, and so those retailers claiming the middle are missing out,” he said.

“It basically means that people in the middle that have traditionally shopped at places like Myer, that group of people is declining.

“These big retail stores are like big ships and they’re not very easy to shift in direction.

“They’ve got infrastructure, they’ve got rent structures, they’ve got loading costs and wages… It’s not as easy as just switching that around overnight”.

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