Retailers set to lift prices as shipping costs soar

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 & 14 : 7-Apr-21

Australian retailers note that shipping costs have tripled in the last 12-15 months, and they will inevitably have to pass some of these costs on to consumers. The cost of shipping goods from China has surged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while The Reject Shop’s CEO Andre Reich says spot shipping rates have blown out to about $2,500; this compares with $US450 to $US500 for contracted rates. Some retailers have indicated that they intend to absorb the increased freight costs.

CORPORATES
THE REJECT SHOP LIMITED – ASX TRS

E-commerce is booming: PwC

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 : 29-Mar-21

PwC has reported that non-food online sales recorded more than five years’ growth in just 11 months, due to the pandemic. The increase in both food and non-food online sales during the pandemic was reflected in the latest reporting season, with Woolworths reporting that its online sales rose by 92 per cent in the December half, while furnishings and bedding retailer Adairs advised that its online sales had increased by 95.2 per cent. Pure-play online marketplace Kogan stated that its sales rose almost 90 per cent, while Myer’s online sales increased by 71 per cent. Vanessa Brennan from PwC says that the consumer is "now in charge" and that this means that innovation is "now business as usual".

CORPORATES
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, ADAIRS LIMITED – ASX ADH, MYER HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX MYR, KOGAN.COM LIMITED – ASX KGN

Amazon tops $1bn sales but still in red

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 15 : 9-Feb-21

Digital giant Amazon has advised that its Australian arm posted a loss of $3.8m in 2020, following a $2.5m loss previously. However, Amazon Australia boasted total sales of $1.12bn in 2020, compared with just $562.1m in 2019. The company’s online stores recorded sales totalling $511m, while its subscription services’ sales rose from $35.4m to $90m. Amazon entered the local market in late 2017, and it now employs nearly 1,000 people in Australia.

CORPORATES
AMAZON.COM INCORPORATED

No going back: AusPost delivers as online shopping takes off

Original article by Yolanda Redrup
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 11-Jan-21

Australia Post has advised that it delivered a record 52 million parcels during December, which is 20 per cent higher year-on-year. Acting CEO Rodney Boys says the postal service recorded strong growth in parcel deliveries throughout 2020, noting that the structural shift to online shopping is likely to be sustained. Boys adds that Australia Post hired an additional 5,000 people and ramped up its fleet of delivery vans to meet the December rush, and many of the extra resources will be retained. He says it will also bring forward some of its future investment plans.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA POST

Nick Scali upgrades profit as retailers end 2020 on a high

Original article by James Fernyhough
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 6-Jan-21

Shares in furniture retailer Nick Scali rose to record highs during trading on 5 January after it advised that it expected its profit for the six months to 31 December would be $40.5 million, double the result for the previous corresponding period. The company also stated that its sales for the past three months were up by 58 per cent. Meanwhile, Sydney retailers other than those in the Sydney CBD have indicated that they saw strong foot traffic for the Boxing Day sales; National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb noted the Sydney CBD had been a "ghost town".

CORPORATES
NICK SCALI LIMITED – ASX NCK, NATIONAL RETAIL ASSOCIATION LIMITED

99 Bikes says global snags hit imports

Original article by Liam Walsh
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 4-Jan-21

Matt Turner says that delivery times for importing bicycles from China is now double what it would be normally be. Turner is the CEO of Pedal Group, the company behind the 99 Bikes retail brand, with the surge in delivery times a combination of increased global demand for bikes and logistical issues. Turner’s comments come as Pedal Group reported a 51 per cent revenue jump to $199.9 million for the 2020 financial year, with post-tax profits up from $3.4 million to $12.4 million.

CORPORATES
PEDAL GROUP PTY LTD, 99 BIKES PTY LTD

2020 Christmas retail sales set to grow 2.8% to $54.3 billion

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

Roy Morgan’s annual Christmas retail sales forecasts conducted in conjunction with the Australian Retailers Association indicate that Australians will spend over $54.3 billion across retail stores during the Christmas trading period. Forecast retail spending this Christmas of over $54.3 billion is an increase of 2.8% from the $52.9 billion of retail expenditure during the 2019 Christmas trading period and is a better than expected forecast than many would have thought possible during the year as Australia dealt with the unprecedented pandemic. Because of the huge impact on spending patterns caused by COVID-19, and the associated lockdowns around Australia, spending across the six categories measured has diverged significantly during 2020. Unsurprisingly, the largest percentage increasing in spending is predicted for the Food category, with pre-Christmas spending forecast to grow by 10% from a year ago to over $23.8 billion. Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the continuing restrictions, Hospitality spending is forecast to be 18.7% down on a year ago at just under $6.1 billion.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION

WHSmith admits underpaying 1500 workers by $2.2 million

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: Online : 6-Nov-20

WHSmith Australia has agreed to an enforceable undertaking after admitting that its employees had been underpaid some $2.2m between October 2013 and April 2019. The underpayment affected about 1,500 employees of the retailer, which has provided backpay totalling $2.257m to past and present staff. The company, which reported the underpayment to the Fair Work Ombudsman, will also make a ‘contrition payment’ of $50,000.

CORPORATES
WH SMITH AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN

Retail can thrive in online shopping shift

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 23-Sep-20

More consumers have embraced online shopping due to the coronavirus pandemic, a trend that Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra expects to continue. He says the proportion of retail sales that are made online could rise to 20 per cent over the next 18-24 months, compared with about 10 per cent prior to COVID-19. Zahra warns that more physical stores are likely to close in coming years, but the shift to online will force retailers to adapt their business models. The pandemic has also prompted more consumers to support retailers within their local community.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION

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