Coles boss bullish as online sales hit $1bn

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Aug-19

Grocery and liquor retailer Coles Group has posted a 2018-19 net profit of $1.434bn, which is 9.1 per cent lower than previously. Earnings from continuing operations were down 8.1 per cent at $1.325bn, and sales fell 1.7 per cent to $38.46bn. Coles’ online sales increased by 30 per cent to $1.1bn, and the division was profitable for the first time in 2018-19. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.24 per share, plus a special dividend of $0.115 a share.

CORPORATES
COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, COLES ONLINE PTY LTD, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, VINTAGE CELLARS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, LIQUORLAND (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, FIRST CHOICE LIQUOR SUPERSTORE, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Recession – what recession? asks Amazon

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 6-Aug-19

Rocco Braeuniger, Amazon’s country manager for Australia, says he has not seen any indication that the retail sector is in the poor state that some retailers and media commentators have claimed. He was speaking at the launch of a new Amazon service called Launchpad, which aims to help start-ups and small businesses that want sell their products via Amazon. A spokesperson for David Jones’s parent company Woolworths Holdings recently claimed that the retail sector is in a recession.

CORPORATES
AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, DAVID JONES LIMITED, WOOLWORTHS HOLDINGS LIMITED

Retailers hope tax-cut cheques will fuel spending spree

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 2 : 11-Jul-19

More than 970,000 people have lodged their annual tax return with the Australian Taxation Office since 1 July. Retailers are optimistic that the federal government’s tax cuts will have a similar stimulatory effect on the sector as the one-off payment made by Labor in 2009. Russell Zimmerman of the Australian Retailers Association says the tax cuts will allow struggling consumers to buy items such as new electrical appliances and clothing.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, NATIONAL RETAIL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Retailers bask in a little ray of sunshine

Original article by Tim Boyd, Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 5-Jul-19

Carpet Court CEO James Hayward predicts that the $1,080 tax rebate that most low and middle income earners will receive in the next few months will provide a similar boost to the economy as Kevin Rudd’s 2009 stimulus package. That package saw around 10 million Australians receive $900. His comments are echoed by MYOB CEO Tim Reed, who notes that low and middle income earners have a "high propensity to spend".

CORPORATES
CARPET COURT AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MYOB GROUP LIMITED, KOGAN.COM LIMITED – ASX KGN, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Woolies gives up liquor and gambling

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 18 : 4-Jul-19

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci says the retail giant has been working on the proposed demerger of its liquor and hotels business for more than a year. Endeavour Group will be created via the merger of pubs and poker machines operator ALH Group and Endeavour Drinks, which owns the Dan Murphy’s and BSW liquor chains. Woolworths plans to divest Endeavour Group via a demerger, trade sale or IPO in 2020 and retain a minority stake. Woolworths has attracted criticism over its exposure to poker machines, but Banducci stresses that this was not a driver of the demerger proposal.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, ENDEAVOUR GROUP, ALH GROUP LIMITED, DAN MURPHY’S, BWS – BEER WINE SPIRITS, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, LANGTON’S, CELLARMASTER WINES PTY LTD, PINNACLE DRINKS, THE MATHIESON GROUP PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, THE QUANTIUM GROUP PTY LTD

Retail the weakest part of the economy, RBA warns

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 24-Jun-19

The Reserve Bank of Australia has released a report which highlights the tough trading environment for the retail sector. The central bank’s June bulletin notes that retailers’ profit margins are being hit by price competition, while profitability in the sector may be at risk if retailers seek to boost market share by selling products at a loss. The net margins of food retailers have fallen below five per cent, compared with more than seven per cent in 2009. There has also been a sharp decline in the net margins of non-food retailers over this period.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, COSTCO WHOLESALE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ZARA, UNIQLO AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Harris Scarfe highest for discount department store satisfaction

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 24-Jun-19

New research from Roy Morgan shows that Harris Scarfe is Australia’s leading discount department store, with a customer satisfaction rating of 90.1%, ahead of Kmart on 88.9% and Best & Less on 88.7%. The biggest improvement over the year to April came from Harris Scarfe (up 6.9% points). The other improvers were Best & Less (up 4.1% points), Big W (up 2.1% points), Costco (up 1.5% points) and Kmart (up 0.8% points). These are the latest results from Roy Morgan’s Discount Department Store Satisfaction Report, which is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including over 9,000 interviews with people who shop at a discount department store in an average four weeks.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, HARRIS SCARFE HOLDINGS LIMITED, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, BEST AND LESS PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, COSTCO WHOLESALE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Coles CEO’s $1bn refresh gambit

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 & 20 : 19-Jun-19

Coles Group has outlined plans to reduce costs by $1bn over the next four years in a bid to arrest the 20 per cent downturn in earnings over the last two years. The proceeds from the cost-cutting program will be redirected to initiatives such as refurbishing stores and enhancing Coles’ online operations. Coles plans to open about 10 new stores in 2020, compared with 21 in 2019. It also intends to refurbish 75 stores in 2020, up from 50 in fiscal 2019. Coles shares closed 3.44 per cent higher at $13.21 on 18 June.

CORPORATES
COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, ALDI STORES SUPERMARKETS PTY LTD, COSTCO WHOLESALE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TARGET AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, VERTIUM ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Williams top shoe store ahead of The Athlete’s Foot

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 17-Jun-19

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey shows that Williams has Australia’s most satisfied shoe store customers, with a customer satisfaction rating of 88% in April 2019, ahead of The Athlete’s Foot on 86% and Spend Less Shoes on 78%. Overall, some 1.4 million Australians shop at a shoe store in an average four-week period, and 82% are satisfied with their experience. Analysis by gender shows that about 880,000 women and 580,000 men shop at shoe stores in an average four weeks. Meanwhile, analysis by generation reveals that 470,000 Australians in Generation X shop at shoe stores in an average four weeks, nearly a third of all shoe store shoppers, and easily the largest market by generation for Australian shoe stores. Generation X also represents the largest share of customers for Williams, The Athlete’s Foot and Payless Shoes.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, WILLIAMS, THE ATHLETE’S FOOT AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, SPENDLESS SHOES PTY LTD

Woolies to cut specials to restore price trust

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 24 : 31-May-19

Grocery giant Woolworths has joined rival Coles in admitting that it is too dependent on price discounting to boost sales growth. Woolworths’ Peter McNamara says the weekly price discounts strategy is adversely affecting consumers’ trust in prices over the long-term. Like Coles, Woolworths is shifting its focus to an ‘everyday low price’ model rather than large prices discounts that are offered for one week only. Ben Gilbert of UBS expects Australia’s food and liquor market to record sales growth of around four per cent in 2019 and 2020.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN FOOD AND GROCERY COUNCIL