Sunday 10 July 2016

Retail News Briefs - 10/7/2016

Different Continents – Different Clothing Stories.

London’s department store, Marks & Spencer, has just recorded its worst
clothing sales performance in 10 years with an 8.9% drop in sales over the last 3 months. The fall comes on the back of the iconic department store attempting to shed its reliance on discounting. Last year, more than 40% of its clothing was sold at discounted prices.

While in the US, the GAP group share price has skyrocketed on the back of a 2% increase in clothing sales for June. That might not sound a lot but experts had predicted a 3.6% drop for that month so the turnaround was impressive. Of course one month does not make a trend so we will need to watch future performance.

Standard & Poors Downgrades Australia’s Outlook.
Australia has a AAA credit rating but S&P have revised our outlook to negative based on the potential for a parliamentary gridlock following the recent election. Other factors like the price of iron ore have also impacted on their prediction. The effect of a credit downgrade might include more expensive borrowings for the government and the major banks.

Melbourne Startup Raises $1.2m
Melbourne start-up, Nura, has raised $1.2m in a kickstarter campaign for its “world-first” headphones. Less than 1% of start-ups achieve the magic $1m.
Nura’s headphones automatically learn and customise sound for wearers using an inbuilt microphone that listens to our ears.
The Nura story is an interesting insight into modern methods of exploring new ideas, researching the manufacturing possibilities, and then raising finance with a global kick-starter campaign. You can read more about it at Smartcompany

High-end Jeweller Bensimon Collapses
Bensimon operates a retail outlet in Crown’s Casino complex as well as an online business. They entered voluntary administration at the end of May and have now collapsed into liquidation with debts totalling close to $7m.

South Australian Company Develops Fresh Oyster Packaging
Simmonds Seafood Marketing Agencies have developed a process which seals oysters with wax to keep them alive during transit and make them easier to open. It is expected to increase the shelf life of oysters from 4 days to up to 10 days using a robotic and laser vision guidance machine.

Walmart Introduce Free Shipping Trial
Walmart in the US offers a $49 annual subscription for free shipping which competes favourably with Amazon’s famous Prime shipping service at $99 p.a. Walmart have now offered a free 30 day trial for new and existing customers as they ramp up their online effort.

Melbourne’s Overnight Public Transport Success.

The government says Melbourne’s trial of all night public transport on weekends is “clearly working” as 35,000 young commuters use the service on Friday and Saturday nights.