Sunday 5 July 2015

An Interesting Week In Retail

There have been some significant developments in the world of retailing this week –

Kathmandu Receives Takeover Bid
          Kathmandu, the outdoor equipment and clothing chain has received a takeover offer from the NZ Briscoe Group. Briscoe is a New Zealand homewares and sports goods retailer that already holds just under 20% of Kathmandu. Kathmandu have retained Goldman Sachs to advise them on the bid.

Coles To Pay Back $12m To Suppliers
          The ACCC took action against Coles in 2014 over engaging in “unconscionable conduct” with certain suppliers back in 2011 through the Coles Active Retail Collaboration program (ARC). Independent arbiter, Jeff Kennett, was appointed by the ACCC to administer the legal agreement made with Coles and he has instructed them to pay back more than $12m to suppliers. Suppliers have also been given the option of opting out of the ARC program.

Pac Brands Shows Improvement
The owners of the iconic Bonds and Sheridan brands have upgraded their full year earnings forecast following strong performance of their retail activities. The announcement saw a 30% surge in the company’s share price.

QANTAS To Give Staff Bonuses
In an interesting reaction to the airlines apparent turnaround, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has announced staff bonuses for over 7,500 staff. The airline is heading towards a $1b underlying pretax profit for the financial year ended 30th June partly as a result of wage freezes agreed to by 15 employee groups. The move is described as recognition of the part employees have made in “turning the ship around”.

Lush Wins Top Retail Award
Australian Retailer’s Association has awarded Retailer of the Year to international beauty manufacturer and retailer, Lush. Lush was chosen for its impressive employee education programs, focus on employee well-being, and corporate social responsibility.
Lush produces and sells fresh handmade natural cosmetics and has an interesting marketing philosophy – it does not use any paid advertising, but relies on word of mouth.

Wendy’s Supa Sundaes Goes Into Liquidation

Wendy’s Supa Sundaes are the former master franchisor of the ice cream and hot dog chain. Their liquidation may impact on some Wendy’s stores although most of Australasia’s 200 stores have been under a new franchisor since 2014.