Connecting...

Retail Update 6

by Suzie McInerney

Retail news by Suzie McInerney

ASIC urged to investigate Dick Smith collapse

  • Independent senator, Nick Xenophon, has called on the corporate watchdog to urgently investigate the collapse of electronics retailer, Dick Smith as well as a parliamentary inquiry to get to the bottom of what happened.
  • Senator Xenophon has also demanded private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners, which floated the company for $520 million in 2013 shortly after buying it for $94 million, support affected employees and consumers
  • Receiver, Ferrier Hodgson, has said it will not honour gift cards or refund deposits on goods, prompting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to ask for more detail.
  • “The ACCC is currently making enquiries of the receivers about how they will be dealing with consumer issues arising,” the watchdog said in a statement on Wednesday.

Source: Inside Retail

Laura Ashley Australia enters voluntary administration

  • Fashion and home furnishing company Laura Ashley Australia has entered voluntary administration, but the company will continue trading for the time being.
  • FTI Consulting’s Quentin Olde, Ross Blakely and John Park have been appointed as administrators of the company. The company’s 38 stores will continue to operate as normal while the administrators assess the books and outlets.
  • “It is the administrators’ intention to continue to trade business as usual while an urgent assessment of the company’s financial position is conducted,” a statement from FTI said. The company’s four stores in NZ are not affected.
  • Laura Ashley Australia has been operating in Australia since 1971. The appointment of administrators only applies to Australian stores.

Source: news.com.au

Specsavers set for digital future

  • Specsavers has chosen Accenture to help manage its technology as the high street optician prepares to become a digital business.
  • Accenture will provide Specsavers with application maintenance, development, testing and infrastructure monitoring services across its IT landscape in 10 countries including Australia
  • The goal of the project is to provide the eyewear retailer with a more manageable application portfolio, with decreased risk and enhanced business services, and enable the company to focus on its goal of becoming a digital business.
  • “We want to deliver a superior service and make it easy for people to interact with us. By delivering cost savings and efficiencies, Accenture will help us provide our customers with an enhanced experience.”

Source: Inside Retail

David Jones NZ expansion on track

  • Australian department store, David Jones, is on track to open its first international store mid-year after gaining Overseas Investment Office approval to buy the lease for the Kirkcaldie & Stains department store in Wellington, New Zealand.
  • The OIO consent said the retailer, which is owned by South Africa’s Woolworths, would pay only $NZ1 for the lease but planned to spend about $NZ20 million ($A18.7 million) refurbishing the Lambton Quay premises.
  • The deal was approved on the basis of adding to market competition and investment for development purposes.
  • The move followed a seven-year period of losses for the struggling Wellington company. Former David Jones chief executive, Ian Nairn, said at the time that it looked forward to bringing its “Next Generation” store concept to Wellington and offering Kiwis an expanded range of brands.

Source: Business Spectator

Big W toys with beacon deployments

  • In 2015 Big W experimented with beacon technology in two campaigns: a high tech Easter egg hunt and a scavenger hunt as part of its Total Toy Domination 2 campaign.
  • The retailer tasked Beaconmaker with designing the activations powered by beacons, with a focus on ‘gamification’ rather than pushing offers or notifications from the retailer to the consumer’s smartphone.
  • “The way we’ve used beacons is quite simple,” Peter Chen, design co-founder of Beaconmaker, told Inside Retail Magazine. “There’s no triangulation, there isn’t any data collection. It is just simply showing roughly how close the user is to the treasure”.

Source: Inside Retail

Costco Australia reveals new store locations

  • US retailer, Costco, will open three new warehouses in Australia this year, taking its total number of stores to 11 since first launching in the local market in 2009.
  • Costco will open its third Sydney store in Marsden Park, a second site in Brisbane, and will also open a warehouse in Epping, Melbourne – its third for the state. Costco Australia’s revenue soared in 2015, topping more than $1 billion
  • Stores with petrol stations will also be a focus globally in 2016. Costco opened its first building with a fuel station in Australia in Liverpool in Sydney’s west in 2013
  • “Every Costco in the future will likely have a petrol station on site. The growth has been spectacular. I fully expect that to be part of our offer going forward for almost every market that we are in.”

Source: RetailBiz

Target to take over runway at Melbourne Fashion Festival

  • Jean Paul Gaultier will lead Target Australia’s runway show at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, as the department store confirms March 10 as the launch date of its latest designer collaboration.
  • The Jean Paul Gaultier for Target collection will officially launch in selected stores and online on with the public getting a first glimpse of the exclusive collection at the runway show the evening before.
  • “Each and every time I visit Australia, I fall in love with the local culture and attitude towards fashion, and continually find inspiration in my surroundings,” said Jean Paul Gaultier.
  • Graeme Lewsey, CEO, VAMFF, says the festival is privileged to host the showcase of ‘Jean Paul Gaultier for Target’ during its milestone year in 2016.

Source: Inside Retail

Get in touch with a retail specialist today.