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Jivaro News

  • 18.09.2017

    Cotton On Group pins growth on new categories, mega-stores

    Multi-brand retailer Cotton On Group is expanding into new categories such as accessories, jewellery and travel goods and opening mega-stores at the expense of stand-alone stores in response to changing shopping habits. Cotton On Group's new chief retail officer Natalie McLean wants to build more one-stop shops where customers can buy adult and children's clothing, footwear, handbags and jewellery by shopping across four or five of the gro...Read More

    Multi-brand retailer Cotton On Group is expanding into new categories such as accessories, jewellery and travel goods and opening mega-stores at the expense of stand-alone stores in response to changing shopping habits.

    Cotton On Group's new chief retail officer Natalie McLean wants to build more one-stop shops where customers can buy adult and children's clothing, footwear, handbags and jewellery by shopping across four or five of the group's seven brands, including Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On KIDS, and Rubi.

    At the same time, Cotton On and Cotton On Body stores, which have traditionally focused on everyday clothing, sleepwear and lingerie, will carry a wider range of accessories sourced through sister chain Rubi to take advantage of the brand's buying power and relationships with suppliers.

    "We've always been a customer-first business and with the changing nature of the landscape of retailing our customers wanted us to adapt much faster than we have before," Ms McLean told The Australian Financial Review.

      

    "There are so many new categories that are outperforming and apparel is no longer the king.

     

    "We need to respond faster to our customer and we want to make sure we are elevating our customer focus."

    The shift in strategy follow Ms McLean's appointment to the newly created role of chief retail officer.

    Ms McLean will provide a direct link from COG's retail stores to the board, ensuring greater emphasis on customer experience at board level, and will be responsible for rolling out the mega-store strategy, which is aimed at giving customers access to leading COG brands under one roof.

    "This role will just streamline how we work and will deliver a lot of efficiencies across our business," she said. "It all comes back to our customers – anyone in this market at the moment needs to be agile."

      

    A cousin of Cotton On Group founder Nigel Austin, and sister of COG's head of communications, Marshal McLean, Ms McLean joined COG in 1991 as a general manager before leaving in 1999 to spend five years at Giordano as product manager and eight years as retail general manager at Rip Curl.

    She returned to the family-owned, Geelong-based company in 2013 and ran Cotton On KIDS for five years before being appointed chief retail officer earlier this month.

    Like most of its Australian-based rivals, COG found 2017 a particularly challenging year.

    After five years of 20 per cent annual sales growth, underpinned by high single-digit comparable store growth, COG's growth slowed last year, with revenues rising from $1.8 billion in 2016 to almost $1.9 billion in 2017, falling slightly short of the board's $2 billion target.

      

    "It was one of our most challenging years but we were still very pleased with our performance," Ms McLean said. "We're still seeing growth, just not that 20 per cent we saw [for many years]."

    "We're still delivering positive comps, but it's definitely different in every brand.

    "There's a shift in the way people are spending. Traffic is holding but the mix is changing and it becomes more about entertainment.

    "Hence this new role. The customer still has money in their purse, they're going to spend it somewhere and we just need to make sure we get our share."

    COG has 742 stores in Australia and just over 1500 in 19 countries. Its strongest, most profitable growth is coming from mega-stores, which now account for more than a third of global sales and 60 per cent of sales in Australia.

    After opening its first mega-store in October 2015, COG now has 212 mega-stores, including 90 in Australia, 42 in South Africa, 22 in Malaysia and 21 in New Zealand. The mega-stores typically range in size from 800 to 2000 square metres, with the Mall of Africa store in South Africa reaching 3500 square metres.

    Mega-store customers tend to shop across all four or five brands, staying longer in store and spending more (an average $60 ) than customers in stand-alone stores (average spend $31).

    "There will be an increasing number of mega-stores across the store footprint worldwide – when leases are up we'll close stand-alone stores in favour of mega stores," Ms McLean said.

    "We can flex our assortment across all our brands and give customers an engaging experience because we have the space to do it and the flexibility to do it."

    COG is also tweaking its e-commerce operations in response to changing spending habits, with customers tending to shop online by category rather than by brand.

    COG has seven e-commerce sites in seven countries and wants to lift online sales from 5 per cent of total sales to 11 per cent by improving fulfilment, adding personalisation and gifting across all brands, replatforming sites and launching AfterPay and click and collect options.

    "Our commerce business is definitely an area we want to continue to drive," Ms McLean said.

    COG is investing $40 million building a 35,000-square-metre automated distribution and fulfilment centre at Avalon Airport in partnership with Linfox. The centre, which opens pre-Christmas 2018, will enable COG to deliver online orders faster and better compete with Amazon, which is building a 24,000-square-metre fulfilment centre in Melbourne's south-east.

    "Customers are demanding next day and sometimes same-day delivery. We have to be able to be competitive against Amazon and the like," Ms McLean said.

    As a fully vertically integrated retailer known for its competitive prices, COG is unfazed by Amazon's arrival.

    "We play beside Amazon today in America and a lot of other markets," said Ms McLean. "It's not anything we're too concerned about."

    "If we keep focus on our customer and what they're looking for and don't enter into a price war ... we should be fine."

     

    http://www.afr.com/business/retail/cotton-on-group-pins-growth-on-new-categories-megastores-20170823-gy2eg7

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  • 18.09.2017

    Mecca’s maximum store opens in Australia

    Cosmetics retailer, Mecca Maxima, has opened its largest store at ISPT-owned Wintergarden in Brisbane last Friday. The 553sqm next generation Mecca Maxima store will be home to more than 60 of the world’s leading cosmetics and skincare brands including exclusive brands NARS, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Smashbox, bareMinerals and Hourglass, as well as Mecca’s newest signature line, Mecca Max. Leah Mienert, ISPT spokes...Read More

    Cosmetics retailer, Mecca Maxima, has opened its largest store at ISPT-owned Wintergarden in Brisbane last Friday.

    The 553sqm next generation Mecca Maxima store will be home to more than 60 of the world’s leading cosmetics and skincare brands including exclusive brands NARS, Too Faced, Urban Decay, Smashbox, bareMinerals and Hourglass, as well as Mecca’s newest signature line, Mecca Max.

    Leah Mienert, ISPT spokesperson, said the opening of the largest Australian Mecca Maxima store is a coup for Wintergarden and ISPT and showed the Queen Street Mall was fast becoming a world class fashion and lifestyle retail precinct.

    “The launch of the largest Australian Mecca Maxima store alongside flagship stores from the world’s leading fashion retailers including Zara, H&M and Uniqlo has put Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall firmly on the global fashion and retail map,” she said.

    Mienert said the Queen Street Mall is emerging as a globally recognised retail precinct and a sought-after destination for leading Australian and international retailers, attracting in excess of 26 million people each year and generating annual sales of over $1 billion.

    Mienert said the Mecca Maxima announcement was the first of a number of other announcements for Wintergarden, with more new stores to be opened before Christmas.

    ISPT also owns other Queen Street Mall retail destinations including the redeveloped 155 Queen Street which houses the three-level flagship Zara store and 170 Queen Street, which contains both the H&M and Uniqlo flagship stores.

    https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/09/18/meccas-maximum-store-opens-in-australia/ Read Less
  • 18.09.2017

    The 'Athleisure' fashion trend helped JD Sports boost sales 41%

    LONDON — Sales at sportswear shop JD Sports jumped by 40% in the first half of 2017, as the retailer enjoyed a record six months. Revenue jumped 41% to £1.3 billion, the company said in a statement on Tuesday, and pre-tax profit rose 33% to £102.7 million. The chain is benefiting from the ...Read More

    LONDON — Sales at sportswear shop JD Sports jumped by 40% in the first half of 2017, as the retailer enjoyed a record six months.

    Revenue jumped 41% to £1.3 billion, the company said in a statement on Tuesday, and pre-tax profit rose 33% to £102.7 million.

    The chain is benefiting from the current trend for “Athleisure” clothes — streetwear and fashion influenced by athletics and sporting styles. Think yoga pants, a Nike top, and the latest Adidas trainers.

    Executive Chairman Peter Cowgill said the results show JD is able “to prosper in an increasingly competitive market for athletic inspired footwear and apparel.” New brands for sale added in the period include Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

    JD, which also owns trainer shop Size? and the Go Outdoors chain, opened 12 new shops in the UK and Ireland in the first half of 2017 and 23 new international stores. Excluding the impact of new store openings, in-store sales rose 3% in the period.

    Cowgill says the second half the year is so far going as well as the first and told investors to expect full-year results “towards the upper end of market expectations.”

     

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/jd-sports-interim-results-revenue-profit-up-athleisure-2017-9?r=UK&IR=T

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  • 15.09.2017

    Woolworths rolls out national ‘pick up’ service

    Woolworths has laid down the gauntlet to the approaching Amazon, yesterday launching a national ‘pick up’ collection service across 970 locations in Australia. The supermarket giant said its renamed ‘click & collect’ service makes it the first and only supermarket to provide such a service nationally, after quietly adding collection points to over 670 stores in the last month alone. The service is backed up by over 4,500 personal shoppers picking a...Read More

    Woolworths has laid down the gauntlet to the approaching Amazon, yesterday launching a national ‘pick up’ collection service across 970 locations in Australia.

    The supermarket giant said its renamed ‘click & collect’ service makes it the first and only supermarket to provide such a service nationally, after quietly adding collection points to over 670 stores in the last month alone. The service is backed up by over 4,500 personal shoppers picking and packing customer groceries in stores.

    “We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to make shopping easier for our customers,” said Woolworths head of online operations, Lisia Roth

    “From remote regional towns with only one Woolworths supermarket to major metro areas where customers have multiple pick up location choices, customers will be able to get more time back in their day as we do their shopping for them.”

    The service is currently restricted to a set number of order each day. “As more and more customers start using the service we will monitor the performance, available collection windows and capacity, and customer feedback to ensure pick up is the best possible experience for every user,” said Roth.

    In Australia 42 per cent of retailers are now offering click and collect, and perhaps in response to the impending threat from Amazon’s entry, this number is up from 24 per cent in 2015. To supplement their pick up in store service, 38 per cent of retailers also allow customers to return their online purchases in-store.

    Gary Mortimer, associate professor, Queensland University of Technology and Louise Grimmer, lecturer in marketing, University of Tasmania, recently wrote that customers are embracing buying online and picking up in store because it offers them immediate gratification but with cost savings on delivery. Click and collect provides an immediacy that traditional home delivery usually can’t match, particularly in Australia where delivery times have traditionally been slow relative to international standards. “Bricks and mortar” retailers see click and collect as a way to differentiate and defend themselves from online players. In the US, Walmart announced last month it would offer discounts on products shoppers ordered online, but picked up in stores as a tactic to combat Amazon.

    Woolies said consumers will be able to monitor orders through the supermarket giant’s app, which will notify store teams when customers are approaching the store. Pick up options include drive up, drive through, remote lockers and specific parking bays where groceries are delivered to the car – all at select locations.

    “Not only do customers want ultra-convenience and personalisation, they also want the experience to be painless and seamless,” said Roth.

    Lasy month, Woolworths unveiled a $1.53 billion full-year profit and lifted its crucial comparable food sales by 3.6 per cent per cent, suggesting heavy grocery discounting is pulling shoppers back to the supermarket giant.

    Woolies has bounced back from last year’s writedown-heavy $1.23 billion loss as comparable supermarket food sales rose 6.4 per cent in the fourth quarter, outstripping fierce rival Coles for a third consecutive quarter.

    https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/09/13/woolworths-rolls-out-national-pick-up-service/

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  • 13.09.2017

    Woolworths steps up Amazon defences with parcel pick-up

    Woolworths has established pick-up points for online grocery orders in all 970 Australian supermarkets and is testing one-hour deliveries as part of its defence against Amazon. Australia's largest supermarket chain believes an increasing number of shoppers will opt to pick up their online grocery orders in store or from drive-t...Read More

    Woolworths has established pick-up points for online grocery orders in all 970 Australian supermarkets and is testing one-hour deliveries as part of its defence against Amazon.

    Australia's largest supermarket chain believes an increasing number of shoppers will opt to pick up their online grocery orders in store or from drive-through locations rather than wait at home for hours for online orders to be delivered.

    Over the past month, Woolworths has increased the number of stores offering parcel pick-up – also known as click and collect – from almost 400 to 970, setting aside space for storage and collection and training 4500 staff known as "personal shoppers" to pick and pack orders from store shelves.

    The pick-up program is one of several established under WooliesX, a new division created by Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci to bring together customer loyalty and digital operations across the group to accelerate online growth, reduce supply chain costs and prepare for the arrival of Amazon by leveraging the retailer's bricks and mortar and digital assets.

    WooliesX managing director Amanda Bardwell said pick-up had been rolled out across the store network in the space of several weeks in response to the changing needs of time-poor customers.

    Woolworths' online grocery sales are growing at about 20 per cent a year and while most customers choose to have orders home delivered, an increasing number want the option of picking up orders on the way home from work or after school.

    "There's a group of customers who are on the go," Ms Bardwell said on Tuesday, citing figures showing 65 per cent of traffic to Woolworths' e-commerce site is through mobile phones.

    "This puts customers in control of the experience – they can choose when to come and pick up their orders," Ms Bardwell told The Australian Financial Review. "It saves customers at least 20 minutes out of their day.

    "Home delivery is still the dominant order priority [but] we expect now we've rolled this out across our 970 stores we'll see pick-up become an increasingly important part of our overall offer."

    Woolworths' pick-up service is free for orders of more than $30 and is available seven days a week. Groceries ordered before 11am are ready for pick-up after 4pm and groceries ordered before 11pm can be picked up after 11am the next day.

    Customers will be able to track their order through the Woolworths app, which will notify customers when their order is ready and notify store staff when customers are approaching so they can prepare the order for collection at customer service desks.

    At about 100 locations, shoppers will be able to collect their orders from drive-through outlets or have orders taken to their cars.

    The service will come at a cost to Woolworths, mainly in extra labour, but will help the retailer defend its market share against Amazon, which is expected to launch its Australian retail operations before Christmas.

    In a note last week, Citigroup said that, based on feedback from suppliers, it expected Amazon to formally launch in October 2017, ahead of Black Friday on November 24.

    Amazon is expected to have less of an impact on food and grocery retailers than on general merchandise retailers.

    Nevertheless, Woolworths and Coles are investing heavily to build their omni-channel offers, combining existing strengths such as store networks and customer loyalty schemes with newer digital capabilities to meet changing customer needs.

    "What we really want to do is provide our customer with a multitude of options in how they shop with us, whether it's in-store, pick-up at store, pick-up at the front of store, pick-up via drive-through or home delivery – at a designated time or express within one hour," Mr Banducci told investors last month.

    Woolworths, for example, is responding to the need for "extreme convenience" by conducting quick delivery trials in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

    Under the trials, customers who live within three kilometres of stores in Eastlakes, Redfern, Double Bay and Mascot will be provided quick delivery as an option – at a flat fee of $15 – when they shop online.

    Woolworths' BWS liquor chain has also just launched a quick delivery service in metro Sydney areas, enabling customers near selected stores to have their online drinks orders delivered in about an hour.

    Coles, meanwhile, has been testing 30-minute home deliveries using the bicycle-based service Deliveroo. It also conducted a short trial using Uber to fulfil deliveries for items that were left out or needed to be replaced from online orders.

     

    http://www.afr.com/business/retail/woolworths-steps-up-amazon-defences-with-parcel-pickup-20170912-gyfk35?eid=Email:nnn-16OMN00050-ret_newsl-membereng:nnn-06%2F09%2F2016-MarketWrap5PM-dom-business-nnn-afr-u&et_cid=29095134&et_rid=1926129886&Channel=Email&EmailTypeCode=&LinkName=http%3a%2f%2fwww.afr.com%2fbusiness%2fretail%2fwoolworths-steps-up-amazon-defences-with-parcel-pickup-20170912-gyfk35%3feid%3dEmail%3annn-16OMN00050-ret_newsl-membereng%3annn-06%252F09%252F2016-MarketWrap5PM-dom-business-nnn-afr-u&Email_name=MW5-09-12&Day_Sent=12092017

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  • 13.09.2017

    The next economic boom could come from women

    Forget China and India for a moment. The next economic boom could come from women.  Women still earn substantially less than men on average, and remain severely under-represented at the top of organisations (there are just 11 female CEOs in the ASX 200 and ...Read More

    Forget China and India for a moment. The next economic boom could come from women. 

    Women still earn substantially less than men on average, and remain severely under-represented at the top of organisations (there are just 11 female CEOs in the ASX 200 and 13 companies without any female directors).

    OECD finds lack of women in the workforce

    Australia's solid labor market performance this century is sullied by its failure to fully tap the potential of women.

    But business is making change, albeit slowly, as it realises the potential of the "sheconomy".

    Women control about 70-80 per cent of the world's annual consumer spending. 

    It is estimated in an EY report that their incomes will increase from $13 trillion to $18 trillion by 2018.

    That $US5 trillion leap is almost twice the growth in GDP expected from China and India combined.

    The self-purchasing woman is the new target market for companies from iconic jewellery brand Tiffany's to global drone makers.

    As women make gains in the labour force, this demographic will grow.

    According to a recent survey from De Beers – which created the "A Diamond is Forever" catchphrase – female self-purchasing is on the rise, especially among 25-to-39 year-olds.

    It said Millennials spent $26 billion on diamond jewellery in 2015 and 31 per cent of those purchases were from women buying diamond-only earrings and neckwear for themselves.

    But women's economic advancement goes beyond a marketing opportunity.

    It has the potential to transform the global economy.

    The self-purchasing woman is the new target market for companies from iconic jewellery brand Tiffany's to global drone makers

    Women could be employed to help build critical infrastructure for developing nations in the midst of economic transition.

    In advanced economies, raising the participation of women can offset the economic drag of ageing populations

    The EY report says by the year 2028 women will control about 80 per cent of discretionary spending worldwide, and women will own about a third of all businesses around the world.

    Another report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) examines the economic implications of the lack of parity between men and women.

    It mapped gender-equality indicators for 95 countries – which fall into four categories: equality in work, essential services and enablers of economic opportunity, legal protection and political voice and physical security and autonomy – and found that 40 of them have high or extremely high levels of gender inequality. 

    The report says if all countries match the rate of improvement of the fastest-improving country in their region, it could add as much as $12 trillion, or 11 per cent, in annual 2025 GDP. 

    Of course, women already make a far greater contribution than official statistics show.

    Seventy-five per cent of the world's total unpaid care – crucial tasks such as child care, caring for the elderly, cooking and cleaning – is undertaken by women. 

    MGI estimates that unpaid work being undertaken by women today amounts to as much as $US10 trillion of output a year, roughly equivalent to 13 per cent of global GDP.  

    If we were to measure the value of unpaid child care to Australia's economy in dollar terms, it would be the nation's biggest – estimated at $345 billion, according to a recent PwC report.

    Australia's tax system also has gender biases built in.

    Since women are more often than not the primary carers of children, partnered mothers, as second earners, face high "effective marginal tax rates".

    It's not that they are taxed at a higher rate, but rather they lose welfare benefits if they decide to work again.

    Every additional dollar of income kept after income tax is deducted, and the means-tested family tax benefits are reduced.

    So there's no incentive to return to work, especially when one has to then account for high-costs of child care.

    A recent OECD paper suggested possible solutions to this economic problem including greater financial support for women with kids by applying a higher threshold where payments are phased out, or having lower statutory tax rates to reduce disincentives for all workers.

    Although these would come at a big cost to the federal budget they should be measured against the economic benefit of getting more women back to work. When women work, economies grow. 

    For those worried that womens' participation in the labour force could cause declining fertility rates, here's a not so new idea: why not also have men participate in housework and child care?

    That would be a win-win: greater female participation in the labour force and higher fertility rates.

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  • 12.09.2017

    Primark full-year sales soar as margin improves

    Primark’s sales are expected to rocket this year while margin has improved despite currency movements because of lower markdowns. Primark had previously said that margin, which declined from 11.7% in the first half of last year to 10% in the first half of this year, would further decline in its second half due to less advan...Read More

    Primark’s sales are expected to rocket this year while margin has improved despite currency movements because of lower markdowns.

    Primark had previously said that margin, which declined from 11.7% in the first half of last year to 10% in the first half of this year, would further decline in its second half due to less advantageous hedging.

    But today it said that despite less advantageous rates, lower markdowns and input margin migration meant that it expected margin to be better in the second half than the first.

    Sales rise 

    Full-year group sales are expected to be 13% ahead of last year on a constant currency basis, the retailer’s parent company Associated British Foods said in a pre-close update for the 52 weeks to September 16.

    The sales rise has been driven by increased selling space and a 1% like-for-like rise.

    At actual exchange rates, sales are expected to be 20% ahead.

    In the UK, sales are expected to be 10% ahead on a constant currency basis. The group said that its share of the British market had “increased significantly” and that a good Easter, favourable early summer weather and lower markdowns due to better product had all contributed.

    Expansion

    In the US, Primark expanded its Boston Downtown Crossing Store by 20% to 92,000 sq ft and is due to open a store in Brooklyn, its ninth in the US, next year.

    Looking ahead, Primark added that because most of next year’s first-half UK purchases had been made at a weaker sterling/US dollar exchange rate than last year’s first half, margin would be negatively impacted next year.

    But Primark’s Eurozone territories, which have performed well in recent years, will benefit from the strengthening of the euro against the US dollar.

    This year, Primark expanded its estate significantly, adding 1.5 million sq ft of selling space and 30 new stores across nine countries.

    The total estate now stands at 13.9 million sq ft and 345 stores. It plans to add 1.2 million sq ft and 19 stores next year.

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  • 11.09.2017

    Myer running out of chances: Board renewal on the cards as full-year results come in

    The board of Myer will have a lot to discuss this week, besides the department store chain's full-year results. A key topic for discussion will be progress on board succession planning, including a new chairman. It is understood that when the board meets ahead of the full-year results on September 14, it will discuss the futures of directors Anne Brennan and Chris Froggatt, who have been on the board through senior executive shake-ups, sho...Read More

    The board of Myer will have a lot to discuss this week, besides the department store chain's full-year results. A key topic for discussion will be progress on board succession planning, including a new chairman.

    It is understood that when the board meets ahead of the full-year results on September 14, it will discuss the futures of directors Anne Brennan and Chris Froggatt, who have been on the board through senior executive shake-ups, shock profit downgrades and massive shareholder wealth destruction.

    Since Myer listed in November 2009 at $4.10 its shares have fallen more than 80 per cent, destroying almost $2 billion in market value, as investors dumped the stock on the back of poor earnings, a series of disasters and key structural challenges.

    Anne Brennan joined the board in September 2009, while Chris Froggatt joined in 2010. It is understood that a decision on their future is yet to be made.

      

    More directors with strong retail experience are required. Since 2015 three directors have been appointed to the board as part of a renewal process.

      

    At last year's annual meeting, chairman Paul McClintock said board renewal would continue in 2017. He was largely referring to himself, as he has been criticised over the years for a lack of retail experience and the handling of some events.

    A search for his replacement began earlier this year and given the annual meeting is in November, it would need to be well advanced.

    By that time McClintock will have served five years. "Over the next year there will be an emphasis on ensuring the board has the capabilities and processes in place to ensure the smooth transition of the chairman's role whenever it is required," he told shareholders at last year's annual meeting in November.

    Picking the right chair will be crucial given the challenges the company is facing, including the implications of a recent earnings downgrade. It is why Myer boss Richard Umbers will need to do a lot of fast talking when he releases the department store chain's full-year results on September 14 or face another share price rout, further short-selling and an inevitable corporate play.

      

    The problem for Umbers – and the board – is Myer is running out of chances.

    With the shadow of Solomon Lew looming large as a key shareholder and a new report by Citi suggesting Amazon could launch within the next 60 days, the clock is ticking for further board renewal and clarification on its transformation strategy.

    Unfortunately for Umbers, time isn't on his side. A recent earnings downgrade suggests the New Myer strategy – a five-year transformation strategy – could be in strife.

    To put it into context, the company launched the New Myer strategy two years ago. It asked the market to not only be patient but allow it to recapitalise the business with $600 million in capital and implementation costs. It was a big ask.

    The New Myer strategy promised to be a circuit breaker. It would create a stronger, more efficient business no longer addicted to discounting.

    But the profit downgrade flagged in July has opened old wounds and raised questions about the execution and in particular the sales mix between concessions and wholesale.

    The brutal reality is they don't have stuff customers want to buy. It might sound simplistic but if management had curated a product offering that was appealing, shoppers would surely buy. Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys have all managed to defy the "volatile and challenging trading conditions" and report improved results.

    With Amazon ready to launch, it needs to be able to explain its game plan to investors. According to Citi's analyst Bryan Raymond, buying terms have been set and first orders have been placed with suppliers in recent weeks. "This increases near-term gross margin risks for retailers as price will be Amazon's key lever," he says in his note.

    He estimates the incremental second quarter 2018 sales impact could be $200 million and highlights the areas with the greatest near-term sales and margin risks as department stores, clothing and footwear, leisure and electronics.

    Myer had its moment to get out of jail with the recapitalisation program in September 2015. Back then it had the chance to make radical changes to the board to give management every advantage to transform without the taint of legacy issues.

    If Thursday's announcement shows cracks in the strategy, investors won't have much sympathy.

    In its update to the market in July it said profit would be below expectations at between $66 million and $70 million. It flagged a rise in operating costs, a writedown of key assets including a stake in Topshop and Sass & Bide, and it announced the sudden and unexplained departure of senior executive Daniel Bracken who was deputy CEO and chief merchandise and customer officer. The sudden departure left the market questioning what was going on.

    This wobbled the market. Morgan Stanley summed it up in the opening line to a report: "Another largely expected profit warning leaves us cold, especially as Amazon is yet to have any impact on Myer."

    UBS wrote: "In our view, trends will only deteriorate from here ... rising fuel and electricity costs; out of cycle interest rate increases; and a softening housing market ... this coupled with a more competitive market and a high level of industry discounting (margin pressure), paints a sombre outlook for Myer."

    Deutsche Bank wrote: "The New Myer strategy has aimed for less discounting and more experiential retail, but the market has become significantly tougher to the point where the efficacy of the strategy is now in question."

    The market has had time to digest the downgrade and will instead focus on sales, stock levels – to ensure old stock isn't building up too high – debt and how much money it has spent of the $480 million capital expenditure and $120 million implementation budget. Some will no doubt be curious about their relationship with concessions.

    Last week, Myer unveiled a new clearance format which involves opening a clearance floor in at least eight stores to clear old stock, with further details to be released at the full-year results presentation.

    But Umbers will need to do a lot more to demonstrate that its strategy two years into a five-year turnaround is working, that it has a plan for Amazon and it is hiring people who can nurture relationships with concessions and pick the right products to stock.

    In the past year, Myer grossly underperformed the broader market, falling from $1.28 to close on Friday at 74¢. It is no longer in the S&P/ASX Top 100 but short-sellers haven't lost interest. The latest figures from online website Shortman rank it the fourth most shorted stock with 15.5 per cent of the share register shorted, which speaks volumes about how much it has lost its way with investors.

    The falling share price will only add to the pressure, particularly with the yet-to-be revealed strategy of Solomon Lew, the hard-nosed retailer who emerged on the share register in late March at an entry price of $1.15 a share. At current levels, this puts Lew in a similar position to most other shareholders: underwater.

    Lew is yet to show his hand. The forthcoming annual meeting could be the trigger for him to make a move – or wait it out. The speculation is if the shares fall far enough, David Jones, Lew or another operator could pounce.

    Nobody would argue that operating a department store chain isn't easy. The sector globally is going through unprecedented structural changes with the rise of online shopping and heightened competition from specialty stores.

    Now more than ever companies need boards and managers with an understanding of the market, the challenges, and the opportunities. If not they will become sitting ducks or disappear.

    Read more: http://www.afr.com/business/retail/myer-running-out-of-chances-board-renewal-on-the-cards-as-fullyear-results-come-in-20170910-gyee35?eid=Email:nnn-16OMN00049-ret_newsl-membereng:nnn-06%2F09%2F2016-BeforeTheBell-dom-business-nnn-afr-u&et_cid=29094752&et_rid=1926129886&Channel=Email&EmailTypeCode=&LinkName=http%3a%2f%2fwww.afr.com%2fbusiness%2fretail%2fmyer-running-out-of-chances-board-renewal-on-the-cards-as-fullyear-results-come-in-20170910-gyee35%3feid%3dEmail%3annn-16OMN00049-ret_newsl-membereng%3annn-06%252F09%252F2016-BeforeTheBell-dom-business-nnn-afr-u&Email_name=BTB-09-11&Day_Sent=11092017#ixzz4sJsLfFNJ Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

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  • 07.09.2017

    Aldi's fresh food offer puts heat on Woolworths and Coles

    Aldi's billion-dollar fresh food facelift for its supermarkets is reaping benefits, accelerating its market share growth against Coles and Woolworths and giving it more pricing firepower. That's the view of Morgan Stanley analysts who say Aldi's new store format, which its started rolling out in 2016 and increases floor space dedicated to fresh food from 15 per cent to 25 per cent, had been a "game changer".          Refurbishments have been co...Read More

    Aldi's billion-dollar fresh food facelift for its supermarkets is reaping benefits, accelerating its market share growth against Coles and Woolworths and giving it more pricing firepower.

    That's the view of Morgan Stanley analysts who say Aldi's new store format, which its started rolling out in 2016 and increases floor space dedicated to fresh food from 15 per cent to 25 per cent, had been a "game changer".         

    Refurbishments have been completed at 50 stores to date, which had seen shopper traffic increase 7 to 8 per cent and basket size (how much each shopper bought) grow about 6 to 7 per cent, implying a 13 to 15 per cent uplift in sales, analyst Thomas Kierath said in a note to clients based largely off discussions with industry expert and former senior Aldi executive Paul Foley

    Mr Kierath said the new store format would boost Aldi's encroachment on Coles and Woolworth's market share by about 30 basis points a year, and that the proceeds of the extra sales could be funnelled into further price cutting. 

    "Margins tend to be higher in fresh food products which means the success of the refurbishment gives Aldi more dollars to invest in price," Mr Kierath said."We think life gets more difficult for the supermarkets post the refurbs."

    Aldi has 483 stores in Australia, including 105 of the newer "Aldi 2.0" format stores, which were first introduced as it started expanding aggressively into South Australia and Western Australia. Aldi plans to have all its stores using the "2.0" format by 2020.

    Based on discussions with Mr Foley, Mr Kierath said he saw it as a "given" that Aldi would have 800 stores and a 14 per cent share of the Australian grocery market by 2024. 

    The German company generated $8.1 billion in local sales last financial year, representing 7.8 per cent market share, based on Morgan Stanley's estimates.  

    Aldi started its billion-dollar refurbishment program in late 2016 with an eye to the profitable fresh food segment as sales growth started to ease in its mature east coast stores.  

    Morgan Stanley said Aldi was again widening the price gap against the two major supermarkets, being about 18 per cent cheaper today compared to 14 per cent cheaper two years ago. The price comparison is on about 350 frequently purchased items and mostly compares leading supermarket brands with the Aldi's private label equivalent. 

    "What's interesting is that when the price gap reduced to 14 per cent Aldi's share gains slowed (and in some regions Aldi's share fell), however, as the price gap expands Aldi's share gains are now accelerating," Mr Kierath told clients. "To us it seems likely that Coles moves again on price to re-accelerate the top line."

    Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket, grew sales by 3.6 per cent on a comparable basis last financial year, outpacing rival Coles, which grew sales at 1 per cent. 

    An Aldi spokeswoman said customer feedback on the new store format had been positive and the company was "pleased to see that the improvements have made a difference to their shopping experience".  

     

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/aldis-fresh-food-offer-puts-heat-on-woolworths-and-coles-20170906-gyc07u.html

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  • 07.09.2017

    Why Reserved is putting retail group LPP in Pole position

    Ahead of Polish label Reserved’s highly-anticipated UK launch tomorrow, Drapers talks to the co-founder of the brand's owner LPP, Marek Piechocki, to find out more about the latest fast fashion co...Read More

    Ahead of Polish label Reserved’s highly-anticipated UK launch tomorrow, Drapers talks to the co-founder of the brand's owner LPP, Marek Piechocki, to find out more about the latest fast fashion contender to shake up the British market.

    Marek Piechocki is extremely camera-shy. The chief executive and co-founder of European clothing conglomerate LPP happily invites questions while hosting a presentation in Polish port city Gdańsk, but requests that no photos of him are taken.

    “It’s not that I have anything to hide,” explains Piechocki. However, he usually avoids making public appearances: “It’s important to live a normal life. This way, no one will point fingers and say, ‘That’s the guy who has that big company.’”

    It is hard to align this low-key mentality with LPP’s flagship fast fashion brand Reserved, which has marched into the limelight with its UK launch. Its multi-million pound campaign featuring Kate Moss, which kicked off last week, is plastered all over public transport in central London.

    It has also begun an educational partnership with the London College of Fashion, which involves an exchange programme and event sponsorship.

    To maximise its visibility, Reserved is opening its 2,300 sq ft Oxford Street flagship on the site of the former BHS this week, with a wide storefront offering views deep into the store. At the same time, it will launch its UK website, and a menswear and womenswear capsule collection called Re.Design.

    The team unveiled the capsule range, and its full autumn 17 collections, at a vast shipyard in Gdańsk. Head of marketing Monika Kapłan describes the brand as “80% polished” – sharp and refined – and “20% unpolished” – a “bit tasteless and ugly”.

    Reserved is split into three ranges: fashion line, which is its largest; young fashion line; and modern line, which focuses on business casualwear.

    It is targeting the UK’s millennial shoppers with garments inspired by Polish graphics from the late 1980s. Vinyl trench coats, side-striped trousers and slogan jumpers with block colours draw from parent LPP’s heritage as a company founded in 1991, only two years after the Soviet communist regime fell.

    Read the full interview by clicking here and find out more about Reserved's recruitment plans, what Piechocki believes will set the brand apart from other fast fashion retailers in the UK, and his views on the impact of Brexit on Reserved's expansion plans.

    drapersonline.com

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  • 07.09.2017

    SurfStitch receives first restructure proposal

    Barely a week after the collapse of embattled surf and skate wear retailer SurfStitch Group, administrators have received a proposal to restructure and relist the company – an outcome that would preserve some value for long-suffering shareholders. The confidential proposal was received on Tuesday morning befor...Read More

    Barely a week after the collapse of embattled surf and skate wear retailer SurfStitch Group, administrators have received a proposal to restructure and relist the company – an outcome that would preserve some value for long-suffering shareholders.

    The confidential proposal was received on Tuesday morning before the first SurfStitch creditors meeting at the company's headquarters at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.

    Administrator John Park, from FTI Consulting, said the proposal was received from a party who had previously been "involved" with SurfStitch.

    However, he refused to say if it had come from co-founder and former chief executive Justin Cameron.

    "It was submitted on a private and confidential basis at this stage," Mr Park told journalists.

    "All I can say is I have received one [deed of company arrangement proposal] in a draft format today," he said. "It is a proposal to see ... a relisting of the vehicle."

    Mr Park said he expected to receive more restructuring proposals and it was "not a given" that shareholders would be wiped out.

    Mr Cameron resigned in March 2016 to purportedly pursue a private equity-backed privatisation proposal, which never eventuated, and has been keeping a watching brief on the business.

    Right opportunity  

    Mr Cameron told The Australian Financial Review last November he might attempt to privatise the online retailer if the right opportunity arose.

    "I'm still a significant shareholder in the company," Mr Cameron said at the time. "Today I continue to maintain a watching brief on the business and opportunities that may present themselves." He could not be contacted on Tuesday.

    Crown Financial Group managing director Kim Sundell, who is SurfStitch's largest creditor after the collapse last year of a $20 million content deal, said he had been approached by two parties interested in restructuring SurfStitch.

    ​However, he did not believe the proposal received on Tuesday was from Mr Cameron.

    "I'm 90 per cent sure it's not from him, I don't think he'd have the face to do something like that," Mr Sundell told the AFR on Tuesday.

    "We were asked if we would compromise our debt and to be shareholders in the post DOCA company," he said. "We'd consider it but I'd need to see something more."

    Other creditors of the holding company are Herbert Smith Freehills and SurfStitch chief executive Mike Sonand, who stepped in after Mr Cameron's departure.

    Mr Cameron and co-founder Lex Peterson founded SurfStitch in 2007, selling boardshorts out of Mr Cameron's garage in Sydney's Northern Beaches.

    The pair floated the company in December 2014, issuing shares at $1. The stock reached $2.12 in November 2015, valuing the company at more than $500 million or almost 50 times earnings, following a spate of acquisitions.

    Mr Cameron wanted SurfStitch to become the Amazon Prime of the action sports world and use documentaries, interviews and surf cams to engage customers.

    Between December 2014 and December 2015, SurfStitch outlaid more than $120 million in cash and shares on five acquisitions, including $24 million for Surf Hardware International, $21 million for Stab, an online surf content platform, and $15 million for Garage Entertainment, which made action-sports films and videos.

    The wheels started to fall off in February 2016, when Mr Cameron, a former investment banker, backed away from full-year guidance, saying the company wanted flexibility to invest in content to drive sales.

    Class-action lawsuits

    In June 2016, SurfStitch reversed a $20 million content transaction with Crown Financial Group, leading to an $18.8 million underlying loss. SurfStitch shares plunged 50 per cent to 18.5¢ and continued to lose ground, closing at 6.8¢ before the stock was suspended in May.

    SurfStitch was embroiled in legal action with Crown over the failed content deal and also faced class-action lawsuits from Quinn Emmanuel and Gadens.

    It bought itself breathing space from creditors last month by appointing John Park, Quentin Olde and Joseph Hansell of FTI Consulting as administrators.

    SurfStitch chairman Sam Weiss said the appointments were necessary due to the shareholder class actions, the protracted litigation with Crown, which is also the largest shareholder, and an ASIC investigation.

    Mr Park said legal proceedings against the parent companies were stayed following the appointments and the administrators had been in initial contact with the litigation funders behind the class actions.

    "I can't tell you how they're thinking but I suspect they've gone from the position where they had proceedings against an ASX-listed vehicle to a company that's now subject to the provisions of a voluntary administration restructure,' he said.

    "They'll be looking for a palatable commercial outcome."

    Mr Park expects to submit his report and restructure proposals in four to six weeks.

    http://www.afr.com/business/retail/surfstitch-receives-first-restructure-proposal-20170904-gyav23?eid=Email:nnn-16OMN00049-ret_newsl-membereng:nnn-06%2F09%2F2016-BeforeTheBell-dom-business-nnn-afr-u&et_cid=29094035&et_rid=1926129886&Channel=Email&EmailTypeCode=&LinkName=http%3a%2f%2fwww.afr.com%2fbusiness%2fretail%2fsurfstitch-receives-first-restructure-proposal-20170904-gyav23%3feid%3dEmail%3annn-16OMN00049-ret_newsl-membereng%3annn-06%252F09%252F2016-BeforeTheBell-dom-business-nnn-afr-u&Email_name=BTB-09-06&Day_Sent=06092017

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  • 07.09.2017

    Ecommerce drives demand for industrial space

    E-commerce is lifting demand for warehouse and distribution space, with property firm JLL’s latest figures pointing towards take-up of industrial space nationally being on track for a record result in 2017. Over the past 10 years, annual industrial take-up averaged 1,165,700 sqm. Over one million square metres of industrial leases were recorded in the first half of this year alone. Since 2015, the annual gross take-up recorded by the retail, wholesale...Read More

    E-commerce is lifting demand for warehouse and distribution space, with property firm JLL’s latest figures pointing towards take-up of industrial space nationally being on track for a record result in 2017.

    Over the past 10 years, annual industrial take-up averaged 1,165,700 sqm. Over one million square metres of industrial leases were recorded in the first half of this year alone. Since 2015, the annual gross take-up recorded by the retail, wholesale and the transport, postal and warehousing sectors has been 54 per cent above the 10-year average.

    According to JLL Research, gross take-up continued at elevated levels in 2Q17. Total take-up activity in the year was led by Sydney (510,000sqm) and Melbourne (377,237sqm) markets. Brisbane showed a notable improvement in leasing demand with 219,731sqm in leases taking place in 1H17.

    “We are seeing retailers increase investment into their supply chains and go through the process of evaluating their supply chain requirements,” said Michael Fenton, JLL’s head of Industrial Australia. “The requirements from fulfilment centres will evolve as retailers look to capture a greater volume of online sales.”

    Fenton said as margins continue to come under pressure from online sales and the entry of foreign players, retailers will look for ways to streamline their cost structures. This will involve the integration of their brick-and-mortar and online sales channels.

    “From a logistics perspective, the key will be having well-located distribution centres to service their shops and customers directly,” he said. “This is leading to a net increase in the demand for quality distribution space.”

    Fenton said the current competition for online sales will renew focus on delivery times and costs to the consumer.

    “As such, retailers are now striving for more efficient logistics networks, involving a renewed focus on rebalancing their in-store and industrial requirements.”

    Sas Liyanage, JLL’s research manager, said despite the headwinds faced by the in-store retail sector, logistics requirements have continued to climb in recent years. The growth in online sales has transpired in industrial demand.

    “Over the past 10 years, gross absorption from the retail, wholesale and the transport, postal and warehousing sectors would account for 56 per cent of leasing activity,” Liyanage said. “In 1H17, they have accounted for 72 per cent percent of national take-up. We believe retailers will continue to invest in their e-fulfilment capacities to safeguard themselves against the threat from well-equipped international and online retailers.” 

     

    https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/09/07/e-commerce-drives-demand-for-industrial-space/

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  • 05.09.2017

    Stylerunner ventures into private label

    Activewear brand, Stylerunner, has launched a new private label range in move looking to tap into global trends. The new athleisure label dubbed New Guard fills a gap in the fashion landscape, identified by the brand’s co-founder, for forward thinking street wear. “With evolving active lifestyles, a new fashion language is emerging and what our wardrobe needs to be capable of has also shifted,” said Julie Stevanja, co-founder...Read More

    Activewear brand, Stylerunner, has launched a new private label range in move looking to tap into global trends.

    The new athleisure label dubbed New Guard fills a gap in the fashion landscape, identified by the brand’s co-founder, for forward thinking street wear.

    “With evolving active lifestyles, a new fashion language is emerging and what our wardrobe needs to be capable of has also shifted,” said Julie Stevanja, co-founder and CEO of Stylerunner.

    Stevanja said dress codes may be relaxing globally but that shouldn’t mean that fashionability is discarded.

    “New Guard is my vision of luxury for the future, where comfort itself is considered a luxury and that fashion can remain aspirational without breaking the bank. As the name suggest, the collection represent the new way we live and how fashion plays into that.”

    The move comes as wearing high-performance athleisure clothing is now seen not just in the gym, but in multiple social contexts. Sports-inspired clothing sales in the US grew at approximately three times the rate of the whole apparel category in 2016, according to Euromonitor International.

    According to sports lifestyle brand First Base, which opened its first flagship in July, the sports apparel market is a $3 billion industry with athleisure wear worth $1.5 billion in Australia.

     

    https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/09/05/stylerunner-ventures-into-private-label/

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  • 05.09.2017

    Cotsco moving into $1 billion business park

    Discount warehouse retailer, Costco, has confirmed its second Queensland location at Walker Corporation’s $1 billion Citiswich Business Park in Ipswich. Costco has secured an Ashburn Road site opposite the Puma Travel Centre, Bundamba on a site comprising some 6.5 hectares. “We are thrilled to be continuing our investment in South East Queensland with this new location in Ipswich,” said Costco managing director, Patrick Noone. “We have been tr...Read More

    Discount warehouse retailer, Costco, has confirmed its second Queensland location at Walker Corporation’s $1 billion Citiswich Business Park in Ipswich.

    Costco has secured an Ashburn Road site opposite the Puma Travel Centre, Bundamba on a site comprising some 6.5 hectares.

    “We are thrilled to be continuing our investment in South East Queensland with this new location in Ipswich,” said Costco managing director, Patrick Noone.

    “We have been trading in North Lakes since 2014 with great success and are excited to be bringing Costco to a dynamic, ever growing region.

    “We will continue to actively engage with our Queensland based suppliers, look to recruit over 280 staff from the local area and bring great prices in relation to a wide range of products and services”, he added.

    Site preparation works will commence immediately with Costco’s construction program scheduled for an opening of this second Costco store in Queensland aimed for 2018.

    “We are seeing international, national and local businesses recognising the strategic location of Citiswich for their customers and operations,” said Peter Saba, Queensland GM for Walker Corporation.

    “The new motorway has opened up the whole South East Queensland region with a very wide retail and business catchment, while cutting travel times to the Port of Brisbane, CBD, key business and residential centres.”

    The bulk discount retailer opened its third Sydney outlet, and ninth store nationwide, at Marsden Park in Sydney’s northwest last month.

     

    https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/09/05/costco-moving-into-1-billion-business-park/

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  • 04.09.2017

    MatchesFashion Sells at Reported $1 Billion Valuation

    LONDON, United Kingdom —  Private equity firm Apax Partners has acquired a majority stake in MatchesFashion in a deal that valued the company at a reported $1 billion. The news follows reports of a fierce bidding war for the luxury e-tailer, which attracted interest from Apax, Bain Capital, KKR and Permira. MatchesFashion founders, Tom and Ruth Chapman, as well as existing venture capital backers Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and Highland Europe, will retain minority sta...Read More

    LONDON, United Kingdom —  Private equity firm Apax Partners has acquired a majority stake in MatchesFashion in a deal that valued the company at a reported $1 billion. The news follows reports of a fierce bidding war for the luxury e-tailer, which attracted interest from Apax, Bain Capital, KKR and Permira. MatchesFashion founders, Tom and Ruth Chapman, as well as existing venture capital backers Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and Highland Europe, will retain minority stakes in the business.

    "We are delighted that Apax Partners have taken a majority stake in the business," says Tom Chapman, co-founder of MatchesFashion.com. "After 30 years of growing this business Ruth and I are ready to take on new challenges while remaining shareholders and taking on an advisory role. Our world class team led by CEO, Ulric Jerome and CFO, Fiona Greiner will continue to drive MatchesFashion to becoming the number one luxury fashion commerce company in the world."

    Gabriele Cipparrone, a partner at Apax Partners, added: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with what has emerged as one of the leading players in the online luxury space globally. Tom and Ruth, along with Ulric and his management team, have done a tremendous job in expanding the business in a sector that continues to demonstrate huge growth potential. Online penetration of the luxury market is still small and we anticipate this will grow significantly in the coming years. MatchesFashion, with its distinctive assortment, unique voice, and unparalleled customer service, is ideally placed to attract and encourage this growth in the online luxury market."

    While terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the sale is subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close in Q4 2017.

    The acquisition comes five years after MatchesFashion raised £32 million ($51 million) in funding from SEP and Highland Capital Europe. In March, MatchesFashion released its financial results for the first time, revealing 61 percent year on year growth in 2016, with an uplift in revenues in all markets. EBITDA hit £19 million, nearly six times more than the previous year, and 2016's total online sales were up by 73 percent.

    The company was founded by the Chapmans in 1987 as a brick-and-mortar store in London's Wimbledon. The couple stepped down as joint chief executives in 2015, becoming joint chairmen. Today, MatchesFashion generates 95 percent of its revenue online (it has four physical stores and a private shopping townhouse in London, with a multi-level flagship scheduled to open in Mayfair this autumn).

     

    It has enjoyed growth in a digital world where the likes of My-Wardrobe and Style.com failed — a success attributed to its unique mix of established and nascent designer brands. It has also placed focus on improving customer experience: this year, it introduced 90-minute delivery in London, and has invested heavily in technology with a mobile point-of-sale app that will log every interaction both in-store and online — the aim is to give the company enhanced visibility as to how the consumer behaves, allowing MatchesFashion to tailor the retail experience to each individual.

    It's advantageous data to have in a competitive luxury e-tail market — one that is growing fast. Currently, 8 percent of luxury goods sales happen online, but this is expected to hit around 25 percent by 2025, according to Bain & Company. In the coming years, much of the industry's growth is expected to come from digital sales.

    And while the wholesale retail model comes with significant inventory risk, MatchesFashion also has growth potential in its own private label Raey. The label, which was relaunched in 2014 with an in-house team headed by creative director Rachael Proud, has introduced menswear and this year opened its own standalone boutique in Notting Hill. The label's advantage is a competitive price-to-quality ratio and it comes with far better margins than wholesale for the company.

     

    https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/matchesfashion-sells-for-reported-1-billion?utm_source=Subscribers&utm_campaign=83641aae53-matchesfashion-sells-at-reported-1-billion-valuati&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d2191372b3-83641aae53-417078017

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  • 04.09.2017

    Babcock man's Plan A working a treat at Noni B

    Women's fashion never looked so good for former Babcock & Brown duo Trevor Loewensohn and Phil Green. While the rest of the retail sector is going to water at the prospect of Amazon finally putting a toe in the local waters, Noni B shares have doubled since August last year and it is time to cash in. Green and Loewensohn's new investment group, Alceon, announced on Friday that it is taking profits and sold 7 million shares at $2.20 a ...Read More

    Women's fashion never looked so good for former Babcock & Brown duo Trevor Loewensohn and Phil Green.

    While the rest of the retail sector is going to water at the prospect of Amazon finally putting a toe in the local waters, Noni B shares have doubled since August last year and it is time to cash in.

    Green and Loewensohn's new investment group, Alceon, announced on Friday that it is taking profits and sold 7 million shares at $2.20 a pop last week.

    Not bad given Alceon was hoovering up a majority of the stock just three years ago at 51c a share. It is not really the story of a suburban women's fashion group trumping the Amazon threat so much as defying the critics and failing to collapse in a heap. 

    And there is more to come, according to Alceon which retains a 40 per cent stake after the sale.

    "Alceon believes there is still significant upside in the business," said Loewensohn in the investor's press release.

    Indeed, Alceon says it is only parting with this 7 million shares in response to other investors who said the low liquidity and free float was an issue - bless the kind heartedness of Alceon.  

    But the rising share price makes you wonder if James Packer was a little hasty when his family flagship, Consolidated Press Holdings, sold all of its shares in March for $10 million. This was barely six months after he received the stock, and $65 million, after selling the Pretty Girl fashion group to Noni B last year.

    Corporate evolution 

    The peak of Lycra season is fast approaching in property circles with the riders (and walkers) now gearing up for next week's Tour de PIF charity bike ride in Sydney.

    The ride which is one of the Property Industry Foundation's landmark fund raising events will see close to 300 property types Lycra up and ride around Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to raise money to help homeless young people.

    Among this year's peloton will be Aliro Group's (and former Charter Hall joint managing director) David Southon, GPT's Head of Office & Logistics Matthew Faddy, KPMG property guru Steven Gatt, Taylor's Head of Property, Chris Pratt, and Sydney Olympic Park boss Charles Moore.

    The event which started as a car rally also appears to be undergoing another major evolution.

    The walking component of the event now only in its second year, which has already sold out, will see an extra 200 property types hike around two courses of up to 20km in Ku-ring-gai. One property executive to ditch the bike this year is Frasers Property Australia's head honcho, Rod Fehring.

    CBD is not sure what the PIF ride and walk could evolve into next.

    Vamos Fletcher?

    Former Commonwealth Bank boss, and current Fletcher Building chairman, Sir Ralph Norris (Auckland Knight), has mailed the many Fletcher shareholders his latest mea culpa about its disastrous year and promises that his clean out has not ended with former CEO, Mark Adamson.

    "As I stated at the time, this was not the result we wanted, it is not the result our shareholders wanted, and the board and management team take absolute responsibility for this performance," he says in the letter.

    Some might be held to responsibility more than others of course. Especially in the troubled building division.

    "The issue we experienced in B+I were the result of poor project and business unit governance and ineffective project management," said Norris, which makes you wonder whether there is any area where the unit came up to scratch.

    But some board-level renovations are needed as well.

    "As we progress our standard director renewal process we will also be seeking to strengthen the construction experience on our board," said Norris.

    This might sent a few alarm bells ringing on the board, which has been accused of being a sleepy corporate club.

    This might be especially relevant to the members of the audit and risk committee, who might be giving themselves a good hard look in the mirror given the number of surprise earnings disasters which emerged from B+I this year without warning.

    Audit and risk chairman, John Judge - a former bean counter - is stepping down at the upcoming AGM. But it would be interesting to see what the future holds for his two Aussie colleagues on the committee: Geelong Football Club director and former UGL chairwoman, Kate Spargo, and former Microsoft exec and current "thought leader" Steve Vamos.

    Backgrounds in the legal profession and tech might not cut it on a committee that obviously needs to bone up on construction.

    Floating away

    As CBD's publisher, Fairfax Media, prepares to float off its crown jewel, real estate group Domain, it is obviously time for golden boy Anthony Catalano to drop some of the ballast. 

    On Friday, ​Real Estate Investar Group, announced that Catalano was stepping down as a director with immediate effect due to "his increasing commitments  with the Domain Real Estate Media group require his time and attention." 

    He leaves behind former Realestate.com.au boss Simon Baker as chairman to mind the real estate data group which listed at 20c a share in late 2015, and closed at 4c on Friday. 

    On Thursday, the group reported that losses increased to $1.56 million on revenues which decreased slightly to $4.73 million. 

     

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/cbd/babcocks-mans-plan-a-working-a-treat-at-noni-b-20170831-gy82g7.html?promote_channel=edmail&mbnr=MTA2OTg1MTg&eid=email:nnn-13omn658-ret_newsl-membereng:nnn-04%2F11%2F2013-business_news_am-dom-business-nnn-age-u&campaign_code=13IBU020&et_bid=29093657&name=2033_age_busnews_am&instance=2017-09-03--21-11--UTC

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  • 04.09.2017

    Cooper St and The Iconic partner for project

    Australian label Cooper St has revealed its latest collection, which celebrates diversity in women, through an exclusive partnership with The Iconic. The new range, launching exclusively with the etailer, will launch with a campaign promoting positive body image for all shapes and sizes, featuring Australian model duo Kate Wasley and Georgia Gibbs. Sizing across all key pieces will be extended, with the range also including spring racing dresses in floral prints, lac...Read More

    Australian label Cooper St has revealed its latest collection, which celebrates diversity in women, through an exclusive partnership with The Iconic.

    The new range, launching exclusively with the etailer, will launch with a campaign promoting positive body image for all shapes and sizes, featuring Australian model duo Kate Wasley and Georgia Gibbs.

    Sizing across all key pieces will be extended, with the range also including spring racing dresses in floral prints, lace and feminine ruffles in spring hues of coral, almond and pale blue.

    Cooper St head designer Cyia Levadetes said the range had been under consideration for a while and the team was excited to be able to express the brand's positive message.

    “The curvy range has been on our radar for quite some time after identifying the demand within the market, we were therefore delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with The Iconic on CS Curvy.

    "Our mission is to enable women to find feminine, stylish designs that flatter their beautiful bodies, no matter the shape or size.

    "The range has been fitted across models of varying sizes, giving women the same fashionable Cooper St designs but with slight tweaks to ensure a flattering fit for curvier women.”

    The range will be available exclusively on The Iconic from early September with prices starting from $109.95.

    http://www.ragtrader.com.au/news/cooper-st-and-the-iconic-partner-for-project?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%204917&utm_content=Newsletter%20-%204917+CID_cc842a97b41d2d4e26b326202e239044&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=Cooper%20St%20and%20The%20Iconic%20partner%20for%20project

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  • 01.09.2017

    Steinhoff boosted by resilient Aussie brands

    Steinhoff International has reported strong sales figures in its latest update, with its Aussie furniture brands enjoying revenue rises amid “challenging consumer environments”. Group sales increased by 48 per cent to EUR14.9 billion for the nine months ended 30 June 2017, compared to the nine months ending 30 June 2016 (9MFY16). Organic revenue (excluding acquisitions) increased by 8 per cent, led by growth in the E...Read More

    Steinhoff International has reported strong sales figures in its latest update, with its Aussie furniture brands enjoying revenue rises amid “challenging consumer environments”.

    Group sales increased by 48 per cent to EUR14.9 billion for the nine months ended 30 June 2017, compared to the nine months ending 30 June 2016 (9MFY16).

    Organic revenue (excluding acquisitions) increased by 8 per cent, led by growth in the European and African regions.

    “We are pleased to report that the group´s organic sales momentum, as well as the integration and sales development of the acquired businesses are progressing well,” said Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff.

    Once again the group’s sales growth is underscored by the resilience of the low-price, value and discount market segments in challenging consumer environments as well as the diversity of the group´s sales mix across various geographies.”

     The Australasian region increased organic (excluding acquisition) sales by 9 per cent to EUR761 million, which Steinhoff said was supported by a 6 per cent strengthening in the Australian dollar.

    The Fantastic Furniture group reported a strong set of results and added EUR189 million revenue, contributing to the EUR950 million of total sales generated in APAC.

     “In Australia, the addition of Fantastic Furniture is proving highly complementary to the group’s existing Asia Pacific household goods brands,” the company said in its update.

    During the nine months under review, the group generated 52 per cent (EUR7.7 billion) of sales in Europe, 27 per cent (EUR4 billion) in Africa, 15 per cent (EUR2.2 billion) in the United States of America and 6 per cent (EUR1 billion) in Australasia.

    https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2017/09/01/steinhoff-boosted-by-resilient-aussie-brands/

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