Supermarkets bring back grocery limits

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 5 : 25-Jun-20

Grocery giants Coles and Woolworths have responded to signs of renewed panic buying in some Melbourne suburbs by reintroducing temporary purchasing limits on high-demand products. Coles will impose limits on items such as toilet paper, paper towels and rice at all of its supermarkets in Victoria, as well as some towns in New South Wales. Woolworths’ purchasing limits apply only to its stores in Victoria at present.

CORPORATES
COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

BOOT test a hurdle for IR reform: Scott

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 10-Jun-20

Wesfarmers CEO Rob Scott says that Australia’s first recession in three decades requires a new approach to industrial relations. He says the ‘better off overall test’ in the Fair Work Act in particular is a hindrance to finalising enterprise bargaining agreements. He argues that employees and businesses alike benefit from EBAs if they are structured in the right way. Wesfarmers’ trading update shows that Bunnings has recorded sales growth of 11.3 per cent so far in 2019-20, while Kmart’s sales are up 6.1 per cent.

CORPORATES
WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, BUNNINGS GROUP LIMITED, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Worst slump in history decimates retailing

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian – Page: 4 : 5-Jun-20

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that retail turnover fell by an unprecedented 17.7 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms during April. Clothing and footwear sales fell by 50 per cent as coronavirus lockdown restrictions took effect, while turnover at cafes and restaurants was down 35 per cent. Food retailers’ sales fell by 17 per cent after being boosted by panic buying in March. Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra says the worst may not be over for retailers, given that the economy is officially in recession and the unemployment rate is set to rise in coming months.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION

Online shopping boom permanent: Gumtree

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 : 4-Jun-20

Gumtree MD Mark Kehoe expects the shift to online shopping during the coronavirus lockdown to be a permanent trend. He adds that traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers are being forced to catch up by expanding into the online space. Kehoe notes that consumers were searching Gumtree for items like gym equipment and office desks in the initial stages of the lockdown, but searches for outdoor equipment such as bikes increased as the restrictions eased.

CORPORATES
GUMTREE.COM AUSTRALIA PTY LTD,EBAY INCORPORATED

Panic buying could put GDP in positive territory for March

Original article by Matthew Cranston, Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 23-Apr-20

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that retail turnover increased by 8.2 per cent in March, driven by panic buying in response to the coronavirus. Sales of canned food, medicinal products and cleaning goods were particularly strong in March, with turnover rising by 50 per cent month-on-month. Josh Williamson of Citigroup warns that retail turnover is likely to fall sharply in April, due to the impact of lockdowns and social distancing rules. David Plank of the ANZ Bank says the sales boost in March could potentially result positive GDP growth for the first quarter of 2020.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF AGRICULTURAL AND RESOURCE ECONOMICS AND SCIENCES, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Australian consumers unconvinced about online retail giant Amazon

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Mar-20

New Roy Morgan research into online retailer Amazon shows that the shopping giant is well behind on several consumer indicators when compared to other major retail brands. Some 26% of Australians said ‘I’d consider shopping at Amazon’; this compares to 61% for Bunnings, 58% for Kmart, 56% for Big W, 51% for JB Hi-Fi and 35% for eBay. Meanwhile, only 14% said Amazon has good quality products; this compares to 47% for Bunnings, 25% for Kmart, 27% for Big W, 41% for JB Hi-Fi and 14% for online-only auction site eBay. It is worth noting in this context that unlike the others on this list, in addition to selling goods directly Amazon acts as a marketplace for other retailers, while eBay is purely a marketplace. These findings are from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from in-depth face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Australians each week and over 50,000 each year.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED, BUNNINGS GROUP LIMITED, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, JB HI-FI LIMITED – ASX JBH, EBAY AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND PTY LTD

Grocery delivery delay as online orders soar

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 10-Mar-20

Online grocery sales rose 45 per cent year-on-year in the four weeks to 22 February, according to Nielsen Homescan data. The surge in demand has been attributed to the coronavirus crisis, with consumers wanting to secure supplies of products such as toilet paper and paper towels. Coles and Woolworths are struggling to keep up with online demand, and Coles is advising consumers to collect orders rather than have them delivered. It is also giving priority to the elderly, the sick and those with special needs.

CORPORATES
THE NIELSEN COMPANY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

Banks, retailers in talks over card fees

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 10-Mar-20

The Australian Retailers Association has estimated its members pay over $500 million a year in merchant fees on bank card transactions. ARA CEO Russell Zimmerman was invited to a meeting with Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh and Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn on 9 March, at which the fees issue was discussed. An initiative known as ‘least-track routing’, which aims to boost competition within the debit card market and to help reduce card payment costs, was among the other topics discussed.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BANKING ASSOCIATION, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA

Slowing sales hit Woolies earnings

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-Feb-20

Woolworths has posted a 2019-20 interim net profit of $887m, which is 7.7 per cent lower than previously. The retail giant’s half-year accounts included an $80m hit from its wage underpayments scandal. Woolworths has advised that its wage remediation costs have blown out to $315m, plus $80 million in interest payments. Meanwhile, CEO Brad Banducci notes that the group’s sales have been impacted by the coronavirus, particularly in suburbs that have a high proportion of Asian consumers and students from China.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

Saviour found for Jeanswest chain

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 26-Feb-20

The Australian subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Harbour Guide has secured a deal to acquire failed clothing retailer Jeanswest. Harbour Guide is owned by businessman Chun Fan Yeung, who is a shareholder in Jeanswest’s former parent company, Howsea. The sale to Harbour Guidance Pty Ltd is conditional on landlords agreeing to new lease arrangements for Jeanswest stores. The deal will result in up to 106 stores remaining open, which will allow about 680 employees to keep their jobs.

CORPORATES
JEANSWEST CORPORATION PTY LTD, HARBOUR GUIDE LIMITED, HARBOUR GUIDANCE PTY LTD, HOWSEA LIMITED