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Retail news 9

by Suzie McInerney

retail news

Pandora / Disney

  • Pandora has extended its strategic alliance with The Walt Disney Company (Disney), to include the Asia Pacific.
  • A Disney themed Pandora collection will be available in Australia and New Zealand on November 12, 2015.
  • Until now, Pandora’s strategic alliance with Disney was exclusive to North America. The extension of the alliance will begin in November 2015 and includes 13 markets in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan.

Source: Inside Retail

Metcash

  • Metcash has appointed former McDonald’s executive, Helen Nash, to its board as a non-executive director.
  • Nash was previously COO of McDonald’s Australia from 2004-2013, and prior to that held various senior management positions with Procter & Gamble in the UK and Switzerland. Nash also sits on the boards of Southern Cross Austereo, Blackmores, and Pacific Brands.
  • Helen has significant industry experience as an executive working with McDonald’s Australia preceded by a lengthy international career with Procter & Gamble.
  • Nash will also be joining the Remuneration Committee and the Nomination Committee of the board.

Source: Inside FMCG

Big W

  • Global buyout firms, including KKR & Co and TPG Capital, have made preliminary approaches to Woolworths to express interest in its Big W discount store chain, people with knowledge of the matter said.
  • The private-equity firms have held early talks with Woolworths, as the retailer reviews its operations after its CEO announced retirement plans in June. The Big W chain could be valued at about $1.5 billion.
  • Discussions may not begin in earnest until a replacement for chief executive Grant O'Brien comes on board, and there's no certainty that Woolworths will be willing to part with the business.
  • Woolworths, which also owns Australia's largest supermarket chain, in June cut its full-year profit forecast and said O'Brien would retire after less than 4 years at the helm. Gordon Cairns as its new chairman August 28 as it unveiled its first drop in sales from its food and liquor stores since 2005.
  • Big W, which competes with Wesfarmers's Kmart and Target outlets, operates 184 stores and accounted for 6.8% of Woolworths's sales in the year through June. The discount chain's operating income for the year fell 25% to $114.2 million.
  • KKR in 2006 led a group of buyout firms that offered $US18 billion for Coles Group. The offer, which was trumped by a higher bid from Wesfarmers, is still the biggest private-equity deal ever proposed in Australia.

Source: SMH Business

Lego

  • Lego has become the world's largest toymaker by sales, overtaking US Barbie-maker Mattel, thanks partly to toys linked to movies, including The Lego Movie. But difficulties in forecasting demand accurately means some orders may not be filled on time.
  • The company is building a factory in Jiaxing in China, 100 kilometres from Shanghai, which is expected to be up and running in 2017 and should produce most of the Lego toys for Asia in the future.
  • Further, Lego will add about 3000 workers to its site in Monterrey, Mexico, in an expansion plan that runs through to 2022. Its factory in Hungary will add 150 workers, but that number could expand to 1600 over the next five years, the company said.
  • The Danish company's sales grew by 18% in the first half of this year to 14 billion Danish kronor ($A3.0 billion), putting it ahead of Mattel and Monopoly-board maker Hasbro, whose revenue came in at $A2.6 billion and $2.1 billion respectively.
  • Lego factories are running at maximum capacity and will do everything we can to meet demand. Lego has invested more than $A633.3 million in plants and equipment last year.  The shortages last year included Denmark and Canada.

Source: SMH Business

 

Contact a retail specialist at Six Degrees.