Woolworths bites the bullet on Big W

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 2-Apr-19

Woolworths has advised that it will close 30 of its Big W department stores, which will reduce the number of outlets by about 16 per cent. Two of Big W’s distribution centres will also be closed as part of the restructuring program, which will result in a one-off impairment charge of $370m. Woolworths has forecast that Big W will post a loss of least $80m in fiscal 2019, but CEO Brad Banducci says the retail giant is committed to restoring the chain to profitability. The store closures could result in the loss of up to 1,000 jobs, but Woolworths hopes to redeploy many employees.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, EG GROUP, PLATO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Retailers at risk as consumers tighten belts

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 20 : 25-Mar-19

Insolvency firm SV Partners has stated that 916 Australian retail outlets are at "high to severe risk of collapse" in the next 12 months. Its forecast is based on data from credit bureaus and providers. An online retailer with turnover of more than $1 billion is one of the businesses that are considered to be under threat. Deloitte Access Economics has stated that retail sales growth will fall to 1.6 per cent in 2019 as consumers curtail their spending; well-known retailers to have failed in recent months include Roger David and Shoes of Prey.

CORPORATES
SV PARTNERS PTY LTD, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, ROGER DAVID STORES PTY LTD, SHOES OF PREY PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, ED HARRY MENSWEAR, NAPOLEON PERDIS COSMETICS PTY LTD, BEDS ‘R’ US PTY LTD

Myer cuts another 50 jobs as sales fall

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 22-Mar-19

Myer Holdings has stressed that customer-facing staff will not be affected by the department store group’s latest job cuts. CEO John King has advised that 50 employees will be retrenched, primarily in store administration, marketing and merchandising roles. Myer is expected to shed further jobs when it begins reducing the amount of space it leases in some of its stores. Myer retrenched 30 executives and managers in August 2018, shortly after King took the helm.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, HOUSE OF FRASER HOLDINGS PLC, TOURISM AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, J WALTER THOMPSON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, OGILVY AUSTRALIA

Reprieve for Myer as profits rise

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 7-Mar-19

Department store group Myer Holdings has posted a 2018-19 interim profit of $38.4m, compared with a writedown-marred loss of $476m for the previous corresponding period. Myer’s underlying profit was up 3.1 per cent at $41.3m, but sales fell by 2.8 per cent to $1.67bn. CEO John King says Myer will continue to sale overseas fashion brands, but it will seek to increase its in-house brands’ share of group sales from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent.

CORPORATES
MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, DAVID JONES LIMITED, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards 2018: Australia’s most service-oriented retailers announced

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 4-Mar-19

The winners of the 14 retail categories in the Roy Morgan 2018 Customer Satisfaction Awards include a mix of first-timers and veterans. Kmart (Discount Department Store of the Year), Discount Drug Stores (Chemist/Pharmacy of the Year) and Ikea (Furniture/Electrical Store of the Year) are among the first-time winners. Among the repeat champions were Foodland (Supermarket of the Year), Myer (Department Store of the Year), Bunnings (Hardware Store of the Year), Rebel (Sports Store of the Year) and The Reject Shop (Discount Variety Store of the Year for the seventh year running).

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, DISCOUNT DRUGSTORES PTY LTD, IKEA TRADING PTY LTD, FOODLAND AUSTRALIA LIMITED, MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, BUNNINGS GROUP LIMITED, REBEL SPORT LIMITED, THE REJECT SHOP LIMITED – ASX TRS

House slump hits Harvey Norman

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 1-Mar-19

Furniture and electronics retailer Harvey Norman has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $222.8m, which is 7.3 per cent higher than previously. Its Australian franchised stores recorded sales of $2.95bn for the period, a decline of 1.7 per cent, and there was an 0.6 per cent fall in same-store sales. However, its overseas stores boasted sales of $1.07bn, an increase of 12.1 per cent. Chairman Gerry Harvey is confident that Harvey Norman’s overseas stores will eventually contribute 50 per cent of its earnings.

CORPORATES
HARVEY NORMAN HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX HVN, ALLERON INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, IKEA

Woolies takes $2.5bn hit as profit stagnates

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 21-Feb-19

Grocery giant Woolworths Group has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $979m, which is one per cent higher than previously. Net profit from continuing operations, rose by 2.1 per cent to $920m and sales were up 2.2 per cent at $30.704bn. Analyst say the half-year results were disappointing, and Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has warned that the retail trading environment is likely to remain challenging in the second half. Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of $0.45 per share.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, DAN MURPHY’S, ENDEAVOUR DRINKS, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, EG GROUP

Roy Morgan predicts Christmas sales within 0.1% – again

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Feb-19

Roy Morgan’s 2018 retail sales forecast, undertaken in conjunction with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), predicted total retail sales growth of 2.9% to $51.479 billion for the most important retailing period of the year from 9 November to Christmas Eve. This is just 0.1% higher than the 2.8% growth achieved. The accuracy for 2018 matches the accuracy of a year ago, when Roy Morgan’s pre-Christmas sales forecasts were also within 0.1% of the actual retail sales for the period. There was growth across five of the six categories measured in the pre-Christmas period in 2018, with spending on Food growing the fastest, up 4% to $20.979 billion. Also growing impressively was the Clothing, Footwear & Accessories category, which grew 3.8% to $4.056 billion, while Other Retailing grew by 3.5% to $7.375 billion. All three of these categories grew at a slightly greater rate than Roy Morgan’s pre-Christmas forecasts. The Roy Morgan-ARA Christmas sales forecasts are based on data taken from the ABS Retail Trade Catalogue 8501.0. Note that online sales through Australian retail stores are included in the retail figures. Sales forecasts are determined by historical retail trade data from the ABS, Roy Morgan’s Consumer Confidence and unemployment data, and various other data relating to macro-economic conditions.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

JB Hi-Fi surges as tech reigns

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 19 : 12-Feb-19

Consumer electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi has posted a 2018-19 interim net profit of $160.1m, which is 5.5 per cent higher than previously. JB Hi-Fi has forecast that its full-year net profit will be within the range of $237m to $245m; full-year sales are expected to be $7.1bn, after sales totalled $3.843bn in the first half. CEO Richard Murray says consumers still seem to be buying gadgets such as smartphones and internet-connected fridges, at a time when many discretionary retailers are struggling.

CORPORATES
JB HI-FI LIMITED – ASX JBH, THE GOOD GUYS, OPHIR ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD

Housing bust, lower wages hit retail sales

Original article by David Uren
The Australian – Page: 2 : 6-Feb-19

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that retail sales fell by 0.4 per cent in December, while sales grew by just 0.1 per cent in the December quarter. The figures also show that Western Australia is the only state that did not experience a decline in retail sales during December. Gareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank says consumer spending is being affected by the downturn in the housing market. He notes that this is particular evident in New South Wales, where house prices have fallen the most and retail sales were down 1.1 per cent in the December quarter.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA