Sunday 28 February 2016

Dick Smith’s Stores Close and Other News

Dick Smith’s Closes
Receivers announced this week that all 363 Dick Smith’s stores would be closed within 8
weeks. No suitable offer had been received to indicate that the business could survive. Receiver, James Stewart said “The offers were either significantly below liquidation values or highly conditional or both.”
A genuine clear-out sale is expected to start immediately.

Woolworths Reports Staggering $2billion Loss
Yes, you read correctly – a $2.09 billion dollars loss for the first half following the write off of $3.25 billion from its ill-fated Master venture. Without that special  write off Woolworths still would have recorded a reduced profit over last year.

Harvey Norman Profit Jumps
Harvy Norman have reported a 30.7% profit increase on the back of stronger sales in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. A strong Christmas period and a buoyant housing market have assisted performance.

Google Delivers
You may not know that Google has its own delivery service in the US just like Amazon, and both entities have developed same day deliveries. Google has now added fresh grocery deliveries to its armoury with meat, eggs and other perishables being delivered in areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Did somebody say that “convenience” is the new retail buzz word?

Victorian Legislation to Ban Discounted Fuel Price Boards
The Victorian Government has announced that it will be introducing legislation to ban the current practise of adverting fuel prices with a special discount that is only available on presentation of a card or voucher. Service Stations will be forced to show the full price of the fuel with ancillary advertising identifying  their discount offer.

Sportswear Boom
RCG Corporation, the group behind Athletes Foot, Skechers, and Vans, has reported a doubling in profit for the half year to December. They credit the improvement to a boom in “athleisure” with major brands shifting to a “clean sneaker look”. Sounds like a good trend for our various sportswear traders.

Coal (Not Coles) Pulls Back Wesfarmers
The owners of iconic retailers, Coles, Target, K-Mart and Bunnings also owns coal mines and possibly regrets that right at the moment. Strong performances from most of its stable of retailers have been offset by an 87.8% drop in earnings from its industrial division including coal mines. Lower commodity prices are to blame.

Retailers Go On Strike

Pharmacists at National Pharmacies store across SA and Victoria went on strike recently over pay and conditions. They opted to open their stores one hour later than normal as part of their protest. Pay rates are key point of contention with Pharmacists insisting they maintain penalty rates for giving up their social and family lives on weekends.

Other News - 28/2/2016
1. Myer launches new eBay shop.
2. Online homewares retailer, Temple & Webster, slashes sales predictions.
3. Sportswear retailer, Surfstitch, reports double digit growth.
4. Bunnings acknowledge they are looking at Masters sites.
5. Target announce new brand ambassadors to join Jessica Mauboy in Sonia Kruger and Fiona Falkiner.
6. Flight Centre reports improved profits and looks to expand in China and Europe.
7. JB HiFi has announced the end of its music streaming service and intends concentrating on physical format music.
8. Mars recalls millions of chocolate bars and other products across Europe following discovery of a piece of plastic in a Snickers bar in Germany.
9. David Jones to sell its Market St store in Sydney to develop nearby Elizabeth St. flagship.
10. A bounce back by Rivers helps Specialty Fashion Group to 5.2% improvement in earnings.
11. Walmart reports decline in 4th quarter profit.