16 Aug, 2019
Online fashion records second consecutive month of growth

Online fashion sales grew by 2.0% in June, according to new data released from NAB. 

This follows a 1.7% rise for online fashion sales in May.

Overall, the NAB Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI) contracted 1.6% in June on a month-on-month, seasonally adjusted basis. This decline follows a strong sales rise in May, with sales up 3.4% in the month.

In year-on-year terms NORSI remains slightly positive, up 0.5% compared to 2018. However, this result is compared to one of the strongest periods in NORSI history - January to September 2018. 

Geographically, all states and territories experienced declining online sales in June apart from WA and the ACT. Tasmania experienced significant sales declines in the month, slipping 6.4%. 

NAB chief economist Alan Oster said that one of the smaller categories led the rises in online sales in June. 

"Our NAB Online retail sales index data indicates that sales growth was negative in June 2019, following on from strong growth in May. 

"Online retail sales tend to be more volatile than broader retail, experiencing far greater monthly fluctuations. 

"Looking through the month-to-month volatility, while sales growth through the year is still positive, it slowed in June and is markedly slower than the same period in 2018.

"By category, after weak sales growth earlier in the year, the small sales category of takeaway food (29.4%) led both month-on-month and year-on-year growth in June. 

"The headline result for June appears to be a result of sluggish growth in most categories, combined with a significant sales contraction in media (-16.5%), and the largest spend category, homewares and appliances (-7.3%)," he said. 

NAB esitmates that in the 12 months to June, Australian consumers spent $29.32 billion on online retail. This figure represents approximately 9% of traditional bricks-and-mortar retail in May. 


16 Aug, 2019
Myer channels Mecca and Sephora in beauty makeover
Financial Review


The department store chain is evolving its beauty business, estimated to be worth more than $650 million a year, by creating one-stop emporiums where customers can touch, feel and buy a wider range of cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, wellness and haircare brands, including niche and ''indie'' brands not previously available in Australia.

While global beauty brands such as Chanel, Estee Lauder and L'Oreal will continue to operate concessions and employ dedicated staff to sell their products, Myer is converting part of its beauty halls into destinations where multilingual Myer staff are trained to assist and sell multiple brands.

Myer is emulating the ''brand agnostic'' approach that has underpinned the success of Australian beauty business Mecca Cosmetica and LVMH's Sephora, which have been taking market share from department stores for several years.

Beauty emporiums opened at Myer's Melbourne CBD and Chadstone stores a week ago and the Sydney City beauty emporium opens on Friday.

Myer's general manager of beauty and lingerie, Sue Price, says initial sales and customer feedback have exceeded expectations and Myer plans to take the new concept to more top-tier stores in coming months.

"It's going to grow sales without any doubt," Ms Price told The Australian Financial Review.

"Our key focus is to remain the No.1 in beauty in Australia.

"We still have the biggest market share in premium cosmetics ... we expect to continue to drive positive results in terms of our innovation and with that comes increased market share."

Light and airy

The new emporiums are lighter, airier and easier to navigate than the previous formats and include ''play tables'' where customers can test make-up before they buy.

"We still have our big global brands with their own installations and  counters," said Ms Price. "This is a much more curated and edited space where we can bring indie brands, which talk to key make-up trends to our customers, which has been difficult in the past," she said.

The number of brands has risen by 24 to 80, 18 of which are exclusive to Myer and 61 of which are not available in David Jones.

New brands include Korean and Japanese brands Banilla, AHC, Huxley and Neogen, Australian brands Alpha H, Face Halo and Sand & Sky, as well as well as 39 Degrees, Vida Glow, Tonik, and In Essence.

"We have a very diverse customer demographic and a very global consumer and we need to be catering to that consumer more than we have before," Ms Price said.

Scent of success

Myer is also evolving its perfume offer, opening a handful of Libertine Parfumerie fragrance emporiums in top stores. The stores, which are affiliated with international fragrance doyen Michael Edwards and operated by brand partner Agence de Parfum, sell hard-to-find perfumes such as Creed, Penhaligons, Fragonard and Amouage.

"We have a very strong fragrance business but this creates a whole new level of engagement and enables customers to experience more small niche brands," Ms Price said.

The investments in beauty reflects Myer chief executive John King's priorities for restoring sales and profit growth at the 119-year old department store, whose profits have been falling since 2010.

Credit Suisse analyst Grant Saligari said the department store sector was under pressure but beauty was one of the few categories that had proved resilient because of strong service levels.

"Some of the Myer initiatives seem to be repositioning the business and making parts of the business more sustainable," Mr Saligari said.

"Whether that's enough to offset what are some very negative industry wide headwinds in relation to department stores remains to be seen."

12 Aug, 2019
'This is pretty big': Qantas, AusPost seal $1.4bn deal to tackle online shopping

Australia Post and Qantas have struck a $1.4 billion deal that will see the airline introduce three new Airbus freighters to its network to help meet Australia's surging demand for online shopping.

The new seven-year agreement continues the two companies' former $500 million freighting deal, which was first signed in 2010 and renewed in 2015.

Under the agreement, Australia Post will continue to have access to Qantas' dedicated freighter airline network, along with priority access to belly space on 1500 passenger flights.

Qantas will also invest in three new Airbus A321P2F aircraft, former passenger jets which have been converted into cargo jets, which boast a holding capacity of 208 cubic metres and can ship nearly 28 tonnes.

Compared to the airlines' existing Boeing 737 cargo planes, each of these new aircraft will have an increased capacity of nine tonnes and are due to enter the fleet in October next year.

Qantas will be the first in the world to operate the popular A321 as a cargo plane, with chief executive Alan Joyce saying the expansion was essential to keep up with Australia's love for online shopping.

"Consumer preferences and expectations are rapidly changing and together with Australia Post we’re responding by growing our dedicated freighter fleet to provide a better experience for consumers and businesses," Mr Joyce said in a statement.

Figures from NAB show online shopping is continuing to grow locally, making up over nine per cent of total retail spend in the 2019 financial year, or about $29.3 billion.

Australia Post's own figures echo this growth, with chief executive Christine Holgate telling The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald ecommerce was "booming" locally.

"[Ecommerce] grew by 24 per cent in Australia last year and we see if growing faster and stronger this year," she said.

"For Australia Post, this is really really important."

Ms Holgate said the boost in network capacity would help the service keep on top of demand during busy periods, with the government-owned company flying more than 400 tonnes of mail on its busiest night in 2018 and shipping more than 40 million parcels around Christmas.

Domestic cargo traffic has increased significantly over the past three years, growing 31 per cent since the end of 2015 with 474,000 tonnes shipped in the 2018 calendar year.

In expanding its deal with Australia Post, Qantas has continued its fight with competing airline Virgin for a hold on the Australian freighting market.

After the company snatched Virgin's contract with shipping business Toll in 2015, Virgin hit back a year later, winning a $US575 million contract from global freight company TNT which Qantas previously held.

Australia Post's contract remains by far the most lucrative, however, with the national postal service facilitating 82 per cent of the country's e-commerce and delivering some three billion items a year.

Mr Joyce told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald the reforging of a partnership between the two logistics powerhouses was "pretty big".

"It’s not every day that you sign a $1 billion-plus contract, with the ability for [it] to be a lot bigger," he said.

"It’s not every day you sign up your largest freight customer by miles."

Qantas booked revenue of $17 billion for the 2018 financial year, $862 million of which was freight revenue, up seven per cent on the year prior.

The company is set to report its full-year results on August 22, with analysts predicting a near $1 billion increase in revenue but a slide in earnings after taking a profit hit thanks to an increase in fuel prices. 

Australia Post and Qantas have had a longstanding partnership, dating back almost 100 years, which included joint ventures in ground and air logistics businesses StarTrack and Australian airExpress.

In 2012, the companies performed a swap of sorts, with Qantas acquiring full ownership of airExpress in exchange for Australia Post taking ownership of StarTrack.

7 Aug, 2019
French hoverboard pioneer Franky Zapata succeeds in crossing English Channel on second attempt
ABC News
ABC News

Standing on a platform powered by five small jet engines and carrying kerosene in a backpack, Mr Zapata took off from Sangatte, just outside Calais in France at about 6:00am (local time), trailed by three helicopters.

He reached Britain just over 20 minutes later, waving to onlookers before landing safely in Saint Margaret's Bay, close to Dover on Britain's southern coast, according to French television images.

"For the last five to six kilometres I just really enjoyed it," Zapata told reporters on arrival. "Whether this is a historic event or not, I'm not the one to decide that, time will tell."

"We made a machine three years ago … and now we've crossed the Channel, it's crazy," he said, before breaking into tears.

Zapata's biggest challenge was refuelling with another backpack halfway through the 35-km journey across the Strait of Dover, which required landing on a platform mounted on a boat.

Mr Zapata's first attempt to cross the Channel last month saw him miss the refuelling platform by centimetres, according to a member of his team. 

They said at the time: "It is a huge disappointment. He made his rendezvous with the refuelling boat but he must have missed the platform by just a few centimetres," a member of his team said on BFM television.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

"We practiced this manoeuvre dozens of times in heavier seas, with platforms that moved more, without any problems," the technician added.

"It wasn't the wind, it was the waves. The platform was two meters above the deck — every movement of the boat is exaggerated."

Despite falling into the Channel, Mr Zapata was not injured in the incident.

The inventor's first attempt to cross the Channel, on July 25, coincided with the 110th anniversary of the first powered flight between Britain and France, when French aviator Louis Bleriot made the crossing between Les Baraques — near Sangatte — and Dover in 36 minutes.

Mr Zapata gained international prominence following a overboard performance last month on Bastille Day. 

The inventor flew over a military parade on Paris' Place de la Concorde, with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the audience.

7 Aug, 2019
Amazon launches platform to give Aussie startups new customers and unlimited shipping — and it's hoping to find the next Vegemite
Business Insider Australia

Amazon has launched a new program to help Australian startups and small businesses bring their homegrown products to market.

Called Amazon Launchpad, the service helps Aussie startups use Amazon’s retail expertise and infrastructure to share their stories and grow their businesses. 

Businesses who join the platform will receive custom product pages on the Amazon site that showcase their items through video and gain access to Amazon’s tools for engaging with customers. It also gives them access to Amazon’s local “fulfilment” network and unlimited shipping with Amazon Prime. 

The new platform is a sign of Amazon giving a helping hand to smaller businesses, off the back of research — commissioned by Amazon Australia and conducted by researcher AlphaBeta — indicating more than two-thirds (68%) of small to medium businesses plan to grow their business through online sales channels but a fifth (21%) of them aren’t confident in using digital tools. 

Businesses surveyed cited lack of understanding and skills when it comes to implementing digital tools, and the cost of developing an e-commerce channel as the main obstacles to business growth. 

Amazon Australia country manager Rocco Braeuniger said Australian inventors and entrepreneurs were responsible for innovative consumer products such as the electric drill and Vegemite. 

“We’re excited to work with the next-generation of local entrepreneurs on bringing their innovative products to millions of customers — from Lyre’s Non Alcoholic Sprits Co, through to sustainable swimwear brand, Salt Gypsy from Byron Bay,” he said in a statement. 

“We know that product creation is only one part of the equation in launching a product and that marketing, logistics and finding an audience can be just as challenging. With Amazon Launchpad, we have a program that will help ease some of these challenges for startups and entrepreneurs alike, allowing them to focus on growing their businesses and freeing up time for future innovation.”

Braeuniger added that Australian customers will be able to show their support for local businesses by getting their hands on some homegrown products through the site. 

More than 150 local and international brands will feature on the Launchpad site such as Australian sugarfree drink brand Nexba and Melbourne-based sunglasses brand Soda Shades.

Beach House Group co-founder Lance Kalish, who is a participant in Launchpad, said his brand development company reaped success when using Amazon Launchpad in the US. 

“We are excited to ‘return home’ and bring our products to Aussies from skincare to stationery via the Australian Launchpad store,” Kalish said in a statement released by Amazon. 

The launch comes on the back of Amazon’s success during Prime Day on July 15-16 – an annual sales event the company holds around the world.

6 Aug, 2019
Credit card killer: Buy now pay later groups popping up like mushrooms
The Age
The Age

Buy now pay later fintechs are popping up like mushrooms and growing like weeds in Australia.

Consumers love this payment method, the merchants who sign up see an immediate boost in sales and regulators have given operators a pretty long leash.

For investors looking for high growth stocks, the instalment payment bunch of disruptors have been stellar performers.

In the past week alone, two buy now pay later (BNPL) ventures raised fresh equity funds.

Sezzle hit the market with an initial public offering that was heavily oversubscribed and rocketed up 80 per cent on its first day. And the unlisted Payright raised $27 million - taking its total raised from investors to $55 million.

Meanwhile, Splitit has given early investors a more than 100 per cent return since it listed earlier this year at 20 cents - even after it hit a speedbump this week after a June quarter report which revealed merchant transactions on its platform actually declined quarter on quarter due to funding constraints. (Its shares were up as high as $2 for a brief time in March).

Flexigroup, once a sleepy consumer credit operator, was arguably the first Australian business to get into the BNPL market, but has only recently revamped its service offer and really entered the game. It has been a bumpy road for its share price, but those that got in at $1.10 earlier this year would be happy with the current $1.80 price.

The elephant in the BNPL pack is Afterpay Touch. After listing at $1 three years ago and with its shares close to touching $27, this company is now capitalised at $6.76 billion.

That's more than four times the size of its nearest competitor. Afterpay has had time to get its systems in order and build its brand name.

Volatile bunch

The share prices of all the companies in this crop can be volatile - spiking on news of new merchant partners and falling when customer growth numbers don’t live up to lofty expectations.

Their investors appear to have scant regard for the potential that any of the BNPL groups could get caught out by bad debts. Hungry for growth, they also seem to ignore the reality that not the entire crop of BNPL businesses can be winners.

Risks to Afterpay include a material increase in bad debts.


Yet for investors wanting to get into the game, there are plenty of things to consider - not the least of which is which stock offers the best entry point.

That exercise is tricky considering that most of those companies don’t actually make any money, so the traditional price/earnings multiple is a fairly redundant tool for assessing value.

As Dean Fergie from Cyan Investment Management says,  the companies might be "in the same space, but are very different investment propositions".

It seems counterintuitive to describe a company as young as Afterpay as mature - but relative to its peers it is.

It has the first mover advantage, some critical mass, and a lot more customers and merchants signed up than its rivals.

As such its rate of growth in Australia should taper off sooner than its competitors’. But it’s just at the beginning of its foray into the larger US market, and the British market is little more than a twinkle in the eye. So there is plenty of potential upside.

Growth and risk potential

The others in the BNPL space are in the earlier stages of development - and while their growth trajectory may be steeper, they arguably carry more risk.

While it is fair to say that not all these BNPL platforms will survive - there should be room for two or three to make a healthy return.

The success in signing up retailers over the next few years will probably be the major driver behind who prevails.

Each of the BNPL brands are offering slightly different marketing propositions. Some cater for ticket items, others offer different interest-free periods, or different interest rates on late payments or fees, and different levels of credit checking etc. But this won’t be enough to ensure all can make a living.

Meanwhile, retailers will definitely want more than one BNPL platform in the mix. They need competition to ensure they don’t lose power to one single player.

Already the margins of BNPL operators have been eroded as increased competition has seen the fees paid by retailers fall.

Having said that, there is little doubt that even the large retailers need BNPL as a payment channel because a rising number of customers (particularly younger customers) are demanding it.

(It is worth noting that Afterpay is now larger in terms of market capitalisation than any of Australia’s discretionary retailers. Harvey Norman’s market cap is around $5 billion, JB HiFi sits at $3.5 billion while Myer is worth less than half a billion dollars.)

Disrupting the banks

And the fact that it is the millennials and younger consumers that have truly embraced this payment channel, it stands to reason that its use will only increase as this demographic becomes more prosperous and the baby boomer dollar declines.

There is undoubtedly plenty of growth left in this sector.

The latest statistics released by the Australin Securities and Investments Commission show the number of consumers who have used buy now pay later options has increased five-fold from 400,000 to 2 million over the financial years 2015-2016 to 2017-2018. The number of transactions has increased from about 50,000 during the month of April 2016 to 1.9 million in June 2018.

At 30 June 2018, there was $903 million in outstanding buy now pay later balances.

At the same time the use of credit cards is in decline. The number of credit card accounts in Australia has dropped by more than 1.5 million in the 12 months to March 2019.

This suggests after all that the BNPL operators have become highly successful bank disruptors.

1 Aug, 2019
Millennials keen on Temple & Webster as company posts first profit
The Sydney Morning Herald

Online homewares retailer Temple & Webster says aging millennials will help it steal market share  from brick and mortar competitors, as the once struggling company turned its maiden annual profit.

The company's share price closed 5 per cent higher on Tuesday at $1.73 after it swung to a $1.1 million profit after losing $52.7 million in the preceding three years.

Temple & Webster CEO Mark Coulter said the positive full-year results were vindicating for the historically troubled retailer. 

The company said it grew full-year revenue by 41 per cent on the year prior to $101.6 million, while active customers were up 37 per cent year on year to 271,000.

Temple & Webster said it has $13.5 million in cash on its balance sheet with no debt, a result chief executive Mark Coulter described as vindicating after some hard years for the company.

"It’s been a big few years, but we promised the market that we were going to deliver a first full-year profit in 2019, and we did," he said.

I think what we’re doing is actually stealing market share off our offline competitors.

Temple & Webster chief executive Mark Coulter

"We have done what we said we would at the same time as delivering a business which grew 41 per cent year-on-year, top line. That shows we're in a really good position."

Temple and Webster joins fellow online retailer Kogan in bucking the sector downturn, something Mr Coulter attributes to more and more millennials entering the company's target demographic.

"Our core demographic is 35 plus, and as more millennials become 35 to 38-year-olds they begin to enter our market," he said.

"They’ve grown up buying everything online, and furniture is something you start to spend more money on when you’re in your late 30s and 40s. That trend is happening irrespective of what's happening with house prices and broader retail."

Two recent rate cuts, along with a barely recovering housing market, meant retail conditions were sluggish towards the end of the financial year.

Mr Coulter said he believed rate cuts were a "double-edged" sword for consumers, but claimed the weakened economy was helping the retailer take market share from its physical competitors due to its cheaper prices.

"[Rate cuts] allow customers to save on the mortgage, and therefore, in theory, increase their discretionary spend. But I think in practice, people get nervous when they start seeing fiscal policy tighten," he said.

"I think what we’re doing is actually stealing market share off our offline competitors during this time. We don’t have physical infrastructure, we don’t have the costs that come with stores, so therefore for similar items, we’re pretty good value."


Temple and Webster listed in early 2016 in what was hailed as one of the worst floats for the year and suffered a drastic 80 per cent drop in share price in under 12 months.

It has since clawed its way back to a stronger position, and Mr Coulter said he was bullish for the year ahead with trading for early in the 2020 financial year in line with the year prior.

"Green shoots" in the housing market coupled with an expected sugar hit from income tax cuts may also make for a strong July, he said.

Cash flow and profits will continue to be reinvested into the business, with a new mobile app, private-label ranges and expanded logistics systems expected to be rolled out over the coming year.

RBC Capital Markets’ analyst Tim Piper said the company's results had out-performed expectations and he continued to see 'scalability' in Temple & Webster's platform.

Mr Piper forecasted further strong growth for the retailer and "further market share gains" moving forward, with Australia's online furniture and homewares market being "underpenetrated".

In a nearly $14 billion dollar local market, just four to five per cent has migrated online, compared to nearly 15 per cent in markets like the UK and North America.

30 Jul, 2019
Shipping costs sink Amazon’s golden run
The Australian

Amazon’s record quarterly profit streak has ended, as the online retailer faced higher shipping costs, slowing growth from its cloud-computing business and a steeper loss in its overseas retail business.

The company’s second-quarter profit rose 3.6 per cent from a year ago to $US2.63 billion after more than doubling last quarter. Amazon had posted its best-ever profit the previous four quarters.

Amazon’s shipping costs escalated as the company invested more than $US800 million to make one-day free shipping the standard for Prime members, instead of two days.

On a positive note, Amazon’s sales growth reignited in the quarter after shrinking over the past four periods. Revenue rose 20 per cent to $US63.4bn compared with a 17 per cent increase three months earlier.

The results sent Amazon’s shares down 2.7 per cent in after-hours trading on Thursday to $US1921 a share.

Before the late-afternoon report, the stock was up 30 per cent this year, giving the company a market value of about $US981bn.

Amazon over the past few years has rewarded investors with a market value hovering around $US1 trillion. It has dominated e-commerce, sprouted a hugely profitable cloud-computing business and spread its arms into new industries such as groceries, entertainment and advertising.

The outsize success has also made it a political target. The company is among a group of giant tech companies that face mounting regulatory scrutiny about their market power.

There are also some vulnerabilities unrelated to regulation.

Amazon Web Services delivered $US8.4bn in sales, though, year-over-year growth slowed to 37 per cent after topping 40 per cent in previous quarters. Operating income of the cloud-computing business, which rents computing power to companies and the government, rose 29 per cent to $US2.1bn. While Amazon essentially created the cloud-computing category, the company faces stiffer competition from rivals playing catch-up.

Amazon has also encountered problems overseas, including in India, where new e-commerce rules favour domestic companies.

Its international sales rose 12 per cent, compared with 9 per cent in the first quarter, though the unit’s loss widened to $US601 million from a year earlier.

Its worldwide shipping costs jumped 36 per cent — after hovering around 20 per cent in recent quarters — as Amazon seeks to cater to evermore demanding consumers with speedier shipping that could give itself an edge over its retail rivals.

“Q2’s results were impacted by margin compression in North America due to the investments in next day Prime delivery, which we continued to believe is an example of short-term pain for long-term gain,” said Moody’s Amazon analyst Charlie O’Shea.

For the current quarter, Amazon has projected revenue of between $US66bn and $US70bn, with analysts projecting on average $US67.3bn in revenue. The company expects between $US2.1bn and $US3.1bn in operating income for the third quarter.​​​

19 Jul, 2019
Nielsen improves Homescan to better measure cultural diversity and nutritional info
Inside FMCG

Global research company Nielsen has revealed new improvements to its Homescan consumer panel that will capture the buying habits of tomorrow’s consumer.

The upgrades will allow the company to measure purchases in different channels in Australia’s grocery sector.

“The strength of our Homescan panel has always been in its breadth of measurement across grocery channels. The new enhancements, however, will give Australian retailers and manufacturers access to uncover the
biggest opportunities in retail: the rapidly growing e-commerce channel, purchasing patterns of multicultural households, and health and wellness trends with the integration of nutritional information and an expanded read on fresh food categories,” Bernie Hughes, managing director, Nielsen Connect – Pacific said.

“Our upgraded methodology also provides a more comprehensive read of smaller shopping baskets; this is an important consumer dynamic to understand as households now tend to shop more frequently and in ways convenient to them rather than the traditional weekly shop.”

Nielsen said that the latest Homescan measures the growing grocery e-commerce channel. Its data reveals that 278,000 new households bought their groceries online in 2018; and in the first quarter of 2019, online grocery sales increased by 22.2% versus the previous year – 10 times faster than total grocery growth of 2.2% in the same period. The fastest growing categories are pet supplies, frozen foods, health and beauty products and confectioneries.

Homescan will hire more staff so it can focus on delivering population representation for all ethnic groups and their specific buying habits. 

Nielsen works with The George Institute. It found out that the Australian grocery can link a shopper’s behaviour with detailed food composition information in Homescan. It will provide 100 key categories, including health star ratings and nutrition info such as sugar content and gluten-free.

Homescan can also measure fresh categories (fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, deli and seafood) which can capture the culturally diverse market. Ethnic households buys more leafy Asian vegetables, lychees, mango, eggplant and herbs compared to non-ethnic households.

19 Jul, 2019
The robots coming to an aisle near you
Inside FMCG

A woman walks into a supermarket and picks a meal kit – perhaps lamb shanks with roast potato or teriyaki beef with rice – off the shelf.

An electronic shelf label tells her not only the price but the provenance – where the lamb or beef came from, whether it's grass-fed or organic – when it was made and how many calories it contains.

If the meal kit is close to its use-by date, the price on the electronic ticket might be a few dollars lower than it was earlier in the week, having been automatically updated by store staff.

The woman drops the meal kit as she scrambles to scan it with her smart phone to skip the checkout queue, but within seconds a robot scoots over to clean up the mess.

It’s not a scene from The Jetsons; it’s coming to a supermarket near you, and probably sooner than you think.

Robots, digital technology and artificial intelligence are infiltrating Australian supermarkets as retailers try to cut costs and respond to fast-changing consumer shopping habits as competition grows from disrupters such as UberEats, Deliveroo, HelloFresh and Marley Spoon.

Online grocery sales are rising between 20 per cent and 30 per cent a year, but 97 per cent of food and grocery shopping is still done in bricks-and-mortar shops and retailers are starting to invest heavily in these to keep up with technological change.

This is on top of billion-dollar investments in online trading and automated warehouses and fulfilment centres.

In the past few months Coles and Woolworths have introduced several technologies – such as touch screens with cameras to reduce theft at automated checkouts, cash- and card-free shopping and hand-mounted devices to guide staff around stores as they refill shelves.

More changes are on the way as the big chains engage in a retail technology arms race ahead of the arrival of German retailer Kaufland and the inevitable launch of Amazon Fresh.

On Tuesday, Coles announced a long-term partnership with global technology leader Microsoft. It says this will transform the customer shopping experience by using artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to tailor ranges, deliver more personalised choices and slash costs by using technology to replace manual tasks.

While Coles is keeping its customer-facing plans close to its chest, the retailer is looking at innovations such as electronic shelf-edge tickets to simplify the massive task of marking down specials on 4000 items across 800 stores every week. “You don’t have to have someone wandering the aisles and changing them manually," a Coles spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Woolworths is expanding a trial of its "scan and go" technology,which allows customers to scan products with their smartphones as they shop and pay through an app linked to their credit cards.

It saves customers time and enables them to tally their grocery bill as they shop.

After launching the trial at its Double Bay store in Sydney last September, Woolworths recently extended the trial to four metro stores in the Sydney CBD and a full-service supermarket on Sydney’s northern beaches.

Woolworths says thousands of customers have tried the scan-and-go app, more than two-thirds have reused it and feedback from customers and staff is positive.

More than a million people in the past year have also downloaded the Woolworths shopping app, which helps customers navigate stores more easily and allows them to shop weekly catalogue and personalised specials on their mobile devices and to build shopping lists for pick up, delivery or in-store shopping.

At a new store in Gregory Hills in Sydney’s west, Woolworths is testing a safety robot nicknamed Greggles, which roams the store and scans floors for trip and slip hazards.

Greggles alerts staff to the hazards and doesn’t do the cleaning itself, but retailers overseas are developing robots with cleaning capabilities.

A Woolworths spokesman says despite encouraging early results, there are no plans to roll out safety robots to other stores. But the familiar refrain "mop and bucket to aisle nine" could one day be a thing of the past.

Australian retailers are also starting to use image recognition and artificial intelligence to solve age-old retail problems such as items being out of stock, a problem estimated by IHL Group to cost retailers globally more than $1 trillion in lost sales a year.

One Australian supermarket is doing a pilot with Israel and Singapore-based tech company Trax Retail, while another is testing technology developed by the Lakeba group. Their technologies differ slightly but both use cameras (Lakeba's original version used drones instead of fixed cameras) and AI to monitor stock on the shelves and alert retailers (and in Trax's case suppliers) when products need to be replenished.

Lakeba is supplying its real-time inventory management technology, developed in Australia,  to some of the world’s top-10 food retailers in markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Central America, Europe and the United Arab Emirates.

Lakeba founder and chief executive Giuseppe Porcelli says Australian retailers were initially sceptical about the benefits and returns of using AI and digital technology to automate replenishment, but take-up is now on par with that of leading retailers overseas.

“They’re more confident and they understand that Amazon is coming,” said Mr Porcelli. “They have to become very competitive from a technology perspective.”




15 Jul, 2019
Most adults have never heard of TikTok, and that's the point

TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms on the planet, with more than 500 million active users. Only YouTube, Facebook and Instagram boast more.

TikTok allows users to create short videos with music, filters and other features. But while it's now used globally by young people, many adult social media users have never heard of it. That's by design.

In 2016, we conducted an ethnographic study on social media use among families with preteen children in Melbourne. Although most young participants in the study were considered by their parents to be "too young" for social media, some had accounts on a new platform called – now known as TikTok.

We soon realised that the preteen demographic was central to's success – and to its evolution. The rapid increase of smartphone ownership among preteens presented a relatively uncaptured potential user base for social media.

Many big players have made recent attempts to capture this particular audience. Snapchat's SnapKidz, YouTube Kids and most recently Facebook's Messenger Kids all focused on creating a "child-friendly" version of the main app.

The creators of did their homework. They not only identified potential future users of the app, but also non-users that might hamper their success. In order to reach preteen audiences, social media apps need to get past the gatekeepers of preteen online engagement: the parents.

From the beginning, presented itself as a tool for creativity and play rather than a social media platform. This tactic enabled to alleviate parental concerns associated with childrens' use of social media. The app store description reads: "the world's largest creative platform."

Childrens' engagement with digital devices is often driven by their desire for creative expression, entertainment and social interaction. successfully engineered playfulness and performativity as its key features.

For example, its cleverly coined "best fan forever" feature mimics elements of popular teen culture allowing users to establish a special connection with features like duet videos. "BFFs" individually record their videos of the same song, which the app then combines into a duet. In this way, users are incentivised to spend more time interacting together on the app.

While TikTok still bills itself a "community of global creators", it's more than just a toy for children. TikTok allows users to follow and interact with "public" profiles. They can follow each other (reciprocity not required), like and comment on videos, and send direct messages to each other.

In other words, TikTok meets all elements of a social networking site. In fact, the app's infrastructure largely resembles Instagram.

The user base is the most valuable asset of any social media platform. During 2016 and 2017,, a social media start-up from China, was trending among most downloaded apps on both Apple and Google's app stores.

This led to its acquisition by the Chinese media giant ByteDance for US$1 billion. We have seen similar scenarios before, when a successful start-up is acquired by a bigger player on the market.

When it acquired, ByteDance was mostly focused on news and was largely absent from social media landscape. But it did own a short-video sharing platform branded as Douyin. At the time, Douyin was not well known outside of China.

In 2018, ByteDance decided to merge Douyin and under the name TikTok. While the merger brought some new features, the process was virtually undetectable to users, who kept their accounts and all preexisting content and followers.

In other words, overnight the user database became the TikTok user database. While was more popular among global north, TikTok dominated the Asian market, positioning the newly merged app for a wider global audience reach.

In its early days TikTok managed to fly under the radar, but its rapid growth and growing user base has brought the app unwanted public scrutiny.

In 2018 the Indonesian government temporarily banned the app amid accusations it was disseminating pornography and blasphemy. In February 2019, India's High court requested both Google and Apple remove TikTok from Indian app stores  following accusations the platform was spreading pornographic and violent content.

Possibly the largest hit came earlier this year when US Federal Trade Commission fined TikTok a record-setting US$5.7 million (A$8.2 million) for collecting and storing the personal information of people under the age of 13 without obtaining parental consent (as required by law).

As TikTok has come to the public's attention, parents and commentators have increasingly expressed concerns regarding potential predatory behaviour, bullying and exposure to the age-inappropriate content on the app.

Some may see TikTok as just another social media platform that will soon disappear, but it's more than that. It's the first social media platform based in China that commands unparalleled popularity in both Asian and Western markets.

This undermines the dominance of US companies on the global social media market. TikTok's challenge going forward will be to live up to the promise of networked play and creativity, while ensuring the personal safety and data security of its users.


15 Jul, 2019
Coles' Little Shop returns, but Woolies hits back with Lion King
The Age$zoom_1.035%2C$multiply_1.51%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C$x_0%2C$y_23/t_crop_custom/w_1600/q_62%2Cf_auto/247f14d04cfbbe759e5688caa214b436c8de1919

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the supermarket, Australia's two grocery giants will go head-to-head with major toy giveaways next week, each hoping that pestering children will drive shoppers through their doors.

Coles said on Friday it would bring back its phenomenally popular "Little Shop" promotion after being "inundated with requests" from shoppers for more of the tiny plastic grocery replicas.

When Coles first ran the campaign year ago, it was responsible for a dramatic reversal in its fortunes as children badgered their parents into shopping there to collect the toys.

Sales that quarter grew faster at Coles than at Woolworths for the first time in two years, but Woolworths took the lead again as soon as the Little Shop sugar hit ended.

Coles said customers would be "very excited" about the items in the new collection, which include replicas of Dynamo washing liquid, Bref Power Active Juicy Lemon Toilet Cleaner, and Kleenex toilet paper.

The brands involved pay to have their products involved in Little Shop. Last year the makers of White King Power Clean Toilet Gel said the promotion drove a 50 per cent spike in sales.

Last years' Little Shop promotion sparked a secondary market for the toys online, with a complete set going for about $70.

Woolworths appeared conscious of the environmental-minded criticism Coles received during its last toy giveaway, which came after both supermarkets removed single-use plastic bags from stores.

It said it would run a recycling program where unwanted Lion King toys could be returned to stores and turned into products such as park benches.

"We've sought to create a fun and exciting shopping experience for Australian families, while also being mindful of our environmental responsibilities," said Woolworths programs manager Sarah De La Mare.

15 Jul, 2019
Lady Gaga to launch beauty line exclusive to Amazon

US popstar Lady Gaga is set to launch a new makeup line with online retail giant Amazon.

Gaga’s line Haus Laboratories will become one of the first major cosmetics brand to launch exclusively on the online platform.

BBC reported the new brand is set to be released in September in nine countries, including the UK, US, Japan, France and Germany. 

Lady Gaga told The Business of Fashion that other companies prefer that she tailors the brand to fit in with their corporate image.

“If it’s not perfectly in line with what they do… they’ll be like, ‘Can you just change half of the equation?’. The answer is no. No deal. No message of self-acceptance, no deal. [The deal with Amazon] was so wonderful because this was like, ‘Let’s make a deal, let’s make a deal to change the world with their beauty’,” explained Lady Gaga on why she chose to work with Amazon.

Haus Laboratories is backed by Lightspeed Ventures Partners, which also invested in actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, the “modern lifestyle brand” website.

“They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but at Haus Laboratories we say beauty is how you see yourself,” added Lady Gaga.

15 Jul, 2019
Google workers can listen to what people say to its AI home devices

Google acknowledged its contractors are able to listen to recordings of what people say to the company’s artificial-intelligence system, Google Assistant.

The company admitted on Thursday that humans can access recordings made by the Assistant, after some of its Dutch language recordings were leaked. Google is investigating the breach.

The recordings were obtained by the Belgian public broadcaster VRT, which reviewed more than 1,000 audio clips and found 153 had been captured accidentally. 

Google Assistant begins automatically recording audio when prompted by a user, usually by saying a wake-up word or phrase like, “OK, Google”.

Google says contractors listen to recordings to better understand language patterns and accents, and notes that recordings may be used by the company in its user terms. This feature can be turned off, but doing so means Assistant loses much of its personalized touch.

A spokesman for the company told Wired only 0.2% of all recordings are accessed by humans for transcription, and that the audio files are stripped of identifying user information.

However, the report from VRT found recordings of users that had identifiable information, including one person’s address and other personal information, like a family discussing their grandchildren by name, another user discussing their love life, and one user talking about how quickly a child was growing.

In 2017, Google confirmed a bug in its Home Mini speaker allowed the smart device to record users even when it was not activated by the wake up word. A Bloomberg report earlier this year also revealed Amazon’s Alexa voice technology uses contractors to review recordings, which Amazon later confirmed.

The recordings reported on by VRT may not be in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, rules that went into effect in May 2018 that limit the data companies based in the EU or doing business in the EU can hold on consumers.

Google did not immediately respond to request for comment.


15 Jul, 2019
Retailers brace for online Amazon Prime Day frenzy$zoom_0.636%2C$multiply_1.51%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C$x_116%2C$y_52/t_crop_custom/w_1600/q_62%2Cf_auto/573d6f6cb79ce4df34bcd0531a3788b185e25910

Amazon is pulling out all the stops to launch its annual Prime Day next week, by engaging high-profile movie stars and singers such as Taylor Swift to release new and exclusive celebrity-endorsed products.

The large reach of the global campaign has put pressure on bricks-and-mortar retailers, particularly in Australia, where cash registers are not ringing as loudly as hoped thanks to a late winter and flat consumer sentiment.

Prime Day is a two-day online sales bonanza on July 15 and 16 and is only open to Amazon Prime members. It started in 2015 to celebrate Amazon's 20th anniversary and was aimed at retaining loyal customers.

It has become one of the biggest online sales day, but has been eclipsed in recent years by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, held in November, and the Alibaba Single's Day.

Last Prime Day, small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores surpassed $US1.5 billion ($2.1 billion) in sales globally and offered hundreds of thousands of deals.

Australian retailers are hoping the pending tax cuts will stimulate consumers to increase spending. Close to 10 per cent (and growing) of all sales are made online.

The influence of the big online events is also growing, with people seemingly doing their Christmas shopping on Black Friday rather than in December, which is having an impact on retailers' end of year calendar.

But while retailers can take advantage of Black Friday by holding a three-day event in store and online, Prime Day is online only, which makes it harder for bricks-and-mortar retailers to leverage off the event.

While it has been a slow burn for the online giant in Australia, due to the limits placed on access to some of the overseas Amazon sites, the platform still gets 15 million hits a month, or about 49 per cent of total online site visits in Australia, compared with 15.4 per cent for Myer, 10 per cent for David Jones and Iconic's 11.5 per cent. 

Bill Rooney, the founder of 6one5 Retail Consulting Group, says on one level Amazon is not where it hoped to be in Australia in terms of market penetration, but it is still the main site accessed.

"It's early days for Amazon in Australia and they put customers off by limiting access to sites, but the group has big plans and these one-off shopping events of Prime Day, Black Friday and Singles day, will only grow in stature and will put traditional retailers under pressure."

To cater for the expected growth, Amazon is believed to be looking at a site at Goodman Group's Oakdale industrial estate at Syney's Eastern Creek for its third fulfilment centre.

As revealed by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Amazon earmarked the site for a distribution centre before opting for space at Moorebank in Sydney's south west, also owned by Goodman.

For Prime Day next week, Amazon is collaborating with actors, musicians and artists to introduce new and exclusive products and deals on a number of products.

In a first, Amazon will give Prime members in Australia first go at Prime Day deals.

"Australians will be able to shop Prime Day deals first and will have access to the longest Prime Day event in the world. Prime members will also enjoy free expedited international shipping with no minimum order threshold for all Prime eligible products through the Global Store during Prime Day," the company said.


12 Jul, 2019
Coles turns to AI to transform grocery shopping
Financial Review

Coles turns to AI to transform grocery shopping

The long-term, multimillion-dollar agreement is Coles' third big alliance since demerging from Wesfarmers last November, and will see Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning and modern workplace suites underpinning its smarter selling program, which is aimed at restoring profit growth.

Coles will build an enterprise data platform in Azure, which it said would help it ramp up advanced analytics and AI to improve the performance of stores.

The software is intended to help store managers with forecasting and on-shelf availability, as well as enabling them to tailor ranges to suit community preferences, and improve range reviews by better understanding which products are substitutable and which aren't.

Coles will also use AI to make more relevant personalised offers to customers by not only taking into account past purchases, but factoring in weather and local community events.

“By using this huge power of Azure it enables us to do computation on a scale we couldn’t do before because we were limited by the amount of tin [physical storage capacity] we have on site,” Coles chief information and digital officer Roger Sniezek told The Australian Financial Review.

“Going forward this enables us to put even more data into those AI algorithms and drive better outcomes for our customers.”

The partnership includes direct executive support from Microsoft’s global product functions.


“That enables us to execute faster ... and not get held up for weeks trying to work out how to do things,” Mr Sniezek said.

“This is absolutely critical for us in this space.”

Strong partnerships

Microsoft will also invest in a Coles innovation lab to create leading-edge retail solutions to help the retailer keep pace with fast-changing consumer spending habits.

"We have found our best partnerships work by putting our engineers side by side with that of our partners,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice-president of Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business.

“In the case of Coles we intend to put our resources side by side with theirs and be jointly accountable for the outcomes that we’ve signed up to deliver.”

The Coles partnership mirrors a five-year partnership between Microsoft and Walmart, signed a year ago, to accelerate Walmart’s digital transformation and counter Amazon expansion.

Earlier this year Microsoft also joined forces with US retailers Walgreens Boots and Kroger, both of which are using Microsoft’s cloud services and technology to digitise stores and engage customers.

Kroger is remodelling stores to test features such as digital shelves, which show ads and change prices dynamically and use a network of sensors that keep track of products.

“We’re thrilled about this partnership we’re announcing with Coles because it really allows us to bring the best of our technology portfolio and put it to work for the impact that Coles is trying to drive in the market,” Mr Althoff said.

“Any of the intellectual properly and technology assets that we create together will be Coles' assets – the data will be their data, the IP will be their IP.”

Mr Althoff said the partnership would help Coles create more personalised and engaging experiences for customers, a more collaborative work environment for staff, and use AI to optimise business processes.

“It gives us the ability to put our technology to work to really achieve retail excellence in the Australian market with Coles,” he said.

New technology

The Microsoft alliance follows Coles' $950 million agreement with German automation specialist Witron to build two fully automated distribution centres and a $150 million partnership with British online food retailer Ocado to build two highly automated fulfilment centres and a new website.


Judson Althoff, executive vice-president of the Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft, said the partnership would help Coles create more personalised and engaging experiences for customers. Supplied

Mr Sniezek said Microsoft’s technology would be compatible with that of Witron and Ocado.

“Part of the reason for choosing this technology is that it allows us to build an open API  [Application Programming Interface] driven environment so we can connect the technologies together in a much simpler way than we’d have been able to do in the past,” he said.

“That’s not to say there’s not a lot of heavy engineering we need to do over the next three to four years to integrate Witron and Ocado, but all of those programs are under way.”

Mr Sniezek declined to put a value on the cost savings or productivity gains stemming from the Microsoft partnership but said some of the first benefits would start to come online as soon as this month.

Coles is using AI to improve forecasting and availability and reduce costs in its meat business, which is worth about $400 million a year and supplies to 40 countries.

“This is not something that is multi years before anything happens – things are happening month by month,” he said.

Sue Mitchell is a senior companies reporter and writes about retail, consumer products and fast moving consumer goods.  Connect with Sue on Twitter. 

8 Jul, 2019
The Iconic's Patrick Schmid: "This is just the beginning"
Rag Trader
Rag Trader

The Iconic's parent company Global Fashion Group has become a publicly listed company on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. 

The group (GFG) began trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on July 02 and raised €198 million from the IPO. Combined with GFG's net cash of €178 million (as of end of Q1 2019) the business is well-funded to invest in its growth strategy and customer proposition. 

As part of becoming a publicly listed company, GFG has welcomed a new supervisory board which was appointed on May 31. 

The board consists of six people who have experience across the fashion and beauty industries, bringing experience from companies such as Estee Lauder, Gucci, Macy's, American Eagle and Ashley Stewart. 

GFG co-CEOs Christoph Barchewitz and Patrick Schmidt said that going public will allow the business to leverage new opportunities in all the markets GFG operates in. 

"It is still very early days for fashion ecommerce in our markets. 

"We are building the number one fashion and lifestyle destination in Asia Pacific, Latin America and CIS. 

"Going public secures us funding to invest into our platform and infrastructure and in turn, benefit from the tremendous growth opportunities in our markets. 

"As part of becoming a public company, we are also excited to welcome a new Supervisory Board, whose combined wealth of experience in fashion, e-commerce and growth markets will support us on our journey as the leading fashion and lifestyle destination in growth markets," they said. 

Schmidt personally commented on his LinkedIn profile that this achievement is just the beginning. 

"This is a vote of confidence by both existing and new investors. 

"Our shareholders and our team of 11,000 people understand that this is just the beginning. 

"Serving more than 11 million customers last year represents a huge achievement, but it’s small when compared to the potential a population of 1 billion people who live in our markets.

"[This is] a huge step for us and a tremendous effort by our team," he said. 


19 Jun, 2019
Brands and tech giants come together to launch first digital safety alliance
Marketing Week

Sixteen of the world’s biggest advertisers including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Adidas and Mastercard have joined forces to launch a global alliance with the aim of improving digital safety.

Founded by the World Federation of Advertisers, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media is rallying publishers and platforms to do more to address harmful and misleading content. It also wants them to work together to develop and deliver against a concrete set of actions, processes and protocols for protecting people and brands.

Other advertisers involved include Bayer, BP, Danone, Diageo, General Mills, GSK Consumer Healthcare, LVMH, Mars, Mondelēz International, NBCUniversal, Nestlé and Shell, while experts at Dentsu, GroupM, IPG, Publicis and Omnicom Media Group will represent media agencies.

In addition to Google and Facebook, media companies and platforms at launch include NBCUniversal, Teads, TRUSTX, Twitter, Unruly and Verizon Media, while supporting industry associations include the ANA, 4As, Interactive Advertising Bureau, ISBA, Mobile Marketing Association, Coalition for Better Ads, Effie Worldwide and WFA alongside their local advertising association members.

Speaking to Marketing Week at Cannes Lions 2019, P&G’s marketing boss Marc Pritchard said: “Now all the measured platforms have measurement and verification in place for viewability, audience reach and anti-fraud, we’re moving to transparency 2.0, which is auditing of brand safety and control over content quality.

“Civility of editorial comments and cross-platform measurement to ensure we don’t have excess frequency of advertising, that’s the next generation, which is one of the reasons why we’re now banding together as an industry consortium.”

An immediate focus will be to form and empower an inclusive working group charged with prioritising a set of concrete steps already under consideration by the Alliance.

This is the first time an alliance that represents all sides of the media industry is forming, underpinned by a working group committed to meeting regularly and reporting back on its progress to members and the industry.

“When industry challenges spill into society, creating division and putting our children at risk, it’s on all of us to act,” says Luis Di Como, Unilever’s EVP global media.

“We’ve achieved a lot through Unilever’s Responsibility Framework but to do more, we must do it together. Founding this Alliance is a great step towards rebuilding trust in our industry and society.”

Isabel Massey, global media director, Diageo, adds: “We take our role as a responsible marketer very seriously, as do many others, which means there’s no better time to move the industry forward collectively.

“You’ll hear me start every meeting in Cannes with one simple question: ‘What more could we do together?’ I ask others to do the same.”

The move follows the launch of the Conscious Advertising Network in the UK, voluntary coalition of brands, agencies, tech providers, and also NGOs and interest groups, which are working together on the idea that ethics need to catch up with the tech side of advertising.

It focuses on ad fraud, diversity, informed consent, hate speech, children’s wellbeing and fake news, aiming to tackle these six key issues. Companies including Accenture, The Body Shop, eCover and method have signed up, while the network is also supported by ISBA.

18 Jun, 2019
Amazon to introduce 30 minute drone delivery ‘within months’
Inside Retail Australia

Amazon expects to offer customers drone delivery in under 30 minutes ‘within months’.

The e-commerce giant unveiled the latest Prime Air drone design at its re:MARS Conference in Las Vegas last week.

Jeff Wilke, CEO of global consumer at Amazon said in a blogpost that the company has been working hard at building “fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under five pounds to customers in less than 30 minutes”.

“With the help of our world-class fulfillment and delivery network, we expect to scale Prime Air both quickly and efficiently, delivering packages via drone to customers within months,” Wilke said.

The Prime Air drone features a hybrid design and can do vertical takeoffs and landings.

Wilke said that Prime Air is one of many sustainability initiatives to help achieve Shipment Zero, the company’s vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50 per cent of all shipments net zero by 2030.

“When it comes to emissions and energy efficiency, an electric drone, charged using sustainable means, traveling to drop off a package is a vast improvement over a car on the road,” Wilke said.

18 Jun, 2019
Bunnings to have full e-commerce offer by Christmas
Inside Retail Australia

Bunnings managing director Michael Schnieder has announced he expects the homewares and DIY retailer will have its e-commerce operations online and fully operational nationwide before Christmas 2019.

The business has trialled a more limited online offering in select locations, but has previously stated it would roll-out a more robust offering by September 2020. 

“We believe that, done right, our click and collect offer will be rolled out across Australia by Christmas – well ahead of schedule,” Schneider told Inside Retail.

“This follows the successful introduction of click and collect in Tasmania in April. We’ve been really delighted with the progress and customers’ response to the offer.

“This is a real testament to our team, who have worked hard to make this happen, ensuring we are building an offer that delivers choice and convenience when it comes to how people want to shop with us.”

Schnieder also indicated that he expects lower interest rates and the Coalition’s incoming tax cuts to spur customers into spending, delivering some relief in a difficult retail environment – one which NAB chief economist Alan Oster said fallen to levels not seen since the GFC.

Bunnings has the fourth most visited shopping and classifieds website in Australia, but only enabled online ordering of select items in June of 2018.

The DIY retailer has previously said it will shift some of its focus toward first-time DIY customers to target the "next generation of customers".

The trends of high-density living and long-term renting have informed the business’ products moving forward, as opposed to its more traditional large-scale renovation focus. 




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