Coles Managing Director will continue to head the supermarket chain
Wesfarmers, and Coles Managing Director Ian McLeod, have reached agreement covering the terms and conditions of his future employment.
“Ian and his team have achieved outstanding results over the past four years, delivering at Coles a sustained period of industry out-performance in both sales and profit growth,” said Wesfarmers Managing Director Richard Goyder.
“Ian was initially employed on a five year fixed-term contract to lead the turnaround of Coles after Wesfarmers acquired the company.
“As we are now reaching the final stage of that arrangement, we are pleased that Ian wishes to remain leading Coles beyond that period.
“After June 2013, Ian will move to a new employment contract consistent with other senior executives within the Wesfarmers Group, which includes a six-month notice period.”
Retail growth outlook slow following decline in April figures
April saw a 0.2 per cent drop in retail figures as Australian's heeded the Government's warning that a tough Federal Budget was on the cards, and shied away from making major purchases, Margy Osmond, CEO of the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) said.
Retail figures for April from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a -0.2 per cent drop bringing the year on year growth to 2.4 per cent – and the first negative result for retail in 2012.
“The drop is even more significant considering there was a holiday period in April and there had been consistently positive retail figures this year.
“Retailers will take some comfort in the fact the loss this month will not wipe out the gains made in the previous quarter.”
The biggest falls were felt in department stores (-1.0 per cent) and household goods retailing (-0.8 per cent), indicating consumers were reverting to the save over spend mentality of previous years. The willingness to buy large items in particular usually corresponds to general interest in shopping.
“Consumer confidence fell by 1.6 per cent in April and this appears to be an accurate read of the sentiment out in the shops. Other retailing (-0.7 per cent) and clothing, footwear and personal accessories (-0.1 per cent) also took a hit.
“As has been the norm, food based retailing continued to do well – recording the only rises in April. Food has again propped up these figures – non-food retailing actually fell 0.7 per cent,” she said.
NSW (0.7 per cent) and SA (0.5 per cent) were the only states to record a meaningful increase, while Victoria (-1.6 per cent), the NT (-0.9 per cent) and the ACT (-0.6 per cent) all experienced sizeable falls that wiped out March’s gains.
“Retailers will look for the cash rate cut in May to have had a positive impact on spending behaviour, followed by the announced stimulus in the Federal Budget to see another surge in the May figures. We will again be looking to the RBA for further cash rate cuts so consumers feel safe enough to shop,” Mrs Osmond said.
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the 0.2 per cent monthly fall in retail trade figures would be disappointing to retailers who were hoping for a slight boost given the Easter holiday period and relaxing of trading hours in some states.
ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said while consumers might have been afforded some extra time to shop over the Easter period, the monthly drop as well as year on year declines across clothing and footwear (-1.5 per cent), department stores (-3.1 per cent) and household goods (-0.8%) showed consumers were under too much financial stress to hit the shops in their spare time.
“The monthly decline shows consumers might have had more time up their sleeves in April but sadly no cash in their pockets.
“The RBA’s decision to leave the cash rate unchanged for April coupled with banks raising interest rates showed little regard for the stress consumers are under and the pressure retailers are facing in getting people through their doors.
“The ARA calculated a 2.4 per cent increase in sales compared to April last year, despite the monthly decrease. However, food retailing and other retailing are the categories responsible for this growth, showing Australians are spending on necessities and smaller goods while forfeiting larger purchases in the absence of discretionary dollars.
“In the survey of retailers prior to the Easter break, only 29 per cent expected to have good Easter trade and 71 per cent expected poor trade. The Easter period turned out to be better than anticipated with 37 per cent indicating that trade was good. This retailer sentiment is consistent with the reported April year on year growth.
“March was a relatively strong month given the soft sales environment retailers are currently in, so the ARA’s projection is retail figures will continue to show slow to zero growth over the next few months.
“The ARA is currently working with industry and government to achieve real policy change through reducing unnecessary red tape, lobbying for fairer industrial relations conditions and achieving a fair trading environment to ensure the $240 billion retail industry has the chance to grow, adapt and continue employing people,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Consumers decide their favourite retailer
With consumer confidence and spending down, Monash University researchers have found consumers prefer to shop at discount department stores.
The research, taken from Australia-wide consumer surveys undertaken by Monash University's Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS) in 2011, looked at the retailers most appealing to the average Australian consumer. It confirmed consumers supported retail outlets that offered value for money.
As a result of the research, the ACRS initiated the Australia’s Favourite Retailer award.
“We thought it was important to get consumers involved so we simply asked who their favourite retailer was, and why,” Dr Sands said.
Based on these responses, Australia’s favourite retailer was judged to be Kmart, with 11.1 per cent of all consumers surveyed rating them as their favourite retailer.
The top five was rounded out by Coles (8.2 per cent), BIG W (8.2 per cent), Woolworths (7.7 per cent) and Target (6.7 per cent), highlighting a clear preference for discount department stores and the grocery majors.
A total of 4151 nominations were received from across Australia throughout 2011.
“The results show the successful retailers are those who have responded best to the challenges of the current economic climate.”
Kmart Managing Director, Guy Russo, said the company was delighted to win the award.
Global food products selected for SIAL d'Or 2012 Awards
29 journalists from around the world recently gathered for the judging of 244 innovative products in Montreal, Canada.
In association with SIAL d’Or 2012, Retail World recently shortlisted a number of Australian products in key categories for judging at the SIAL d’Or 2012 Awards.
SIAL d’Or highlights the innovations that have become major commercial successes in the domestic markets of each of the 29 countries represented.
244 products across nine categories were entered into the SIAL d’Or 2012 program.
The jury panel shortlisted the country winners, and also the finalist category winners.
The categories represented include: savoury grocery products, sweet grocery products, fresh non-dairy products, fresh dairy products, savoury frozen foods, sweet frozen foods, non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages (excluding wine), and wine.
The winner of the Australian country award for SIAL d’Or 2012 is Creative Gourmet Smoothie Cubes™ (Patties Foods Ltd).
Creative Gourmet Smoothie Cubes™ will be presented with an award at the special SIAL d'Or Award Ceremony on October 21 during the SIAL Paris Exhibition.
Congratulations to all Australian entrants for being nominated into the SIAL d'Or 2012 program:
Fresh Dairy Products – Danone Activia Yoghurt (Danone Murray Goulburn Pty Ltd.)
Non-Dairy Products - Coles Grill Range
Savoury Grocery Products – Safcol Responsibly Fished Tuna (Safcol Australia)
Sweet Grocery Products – Nestlé Kit Kat Chunk 3
Savoury Frozen Products – Patties East Meets West™ (Patties Foods Ltd.)
Sweet Frozen Products – Creative Gourmet Smoothie Cubes™ (Patties Foods Ltd.) AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY WINNER
Non-Alcoholic Beverages – Powerade Fuel+ (Coca-Cola South Pacific)
Alcoholic Beverages – Tequila Tromba
Wine (optional) – Villa Maria Estate Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc.
All Australian products will be showcased in the SIAL d’Or area at the SIAL Paris Exhibition.
Reckitt Benckiser exceeds 2020 carbon reduction target
Reckitt Benckiser (RB), a world leader in health, hygiene and home products, has achieved a remarkable 21 per cent improvement in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions per dose since 2007 – beating its 2020 target eight years ahead of time.
The results are based on the reduction of emissions throughout the lifetime of their products, which include leading Australian brands Finish, Vanish, Air Wick, Dettol, Nurofen and Strepsils, from raw material sourcing through to disposal after use.
The Carbon20 results are revealed in RB’s new Sustainability Report www.rb.com/sustainability-report2011. The Carbon20 methodology, and selected data, has been independently assured by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Other highlights from the RB Sustainability Report include:
16 per cent reduction in fresh water usage (per unit of production) versus 2000.
5.4 million trees planted since 2006 as part of Trees For Change, effectively making RB’s manufacturing sites carbon neutral.
23% reduction in accident rate versus 2010 (92 per cent reduction versus 2001).
775,000 children reached with Save The Children since 2003 (175,000 in 2011).
Lindsay Forrest, Regional Director for Reckitt Benckiser Australia said: “We are thrilled to achieve our 2020 carbon target so early. This result is testament to the hard work of our employees and the innovative culture that drives our company. RB is committed to sustainability and helping our consumers to become more environmentally responsible each and every time they use RB products. Sustainability is embedded in our new strategy, vision and purpose and we will strive to further reduce Australia’s carbon footprint in the coming years.”
Brand innovation and operational efficiencies
In 2011 RB packaging innovations included launching Nurofen and Gaviscon Advance in a double concentration, reducing emissions because they use less packaging and transport for each dose.
RB has also committed to being transparent on ingredients in its products by publishing lists of ingredients for its products in Australia.
Investments in RB factories also helped to meet the Carbon 20 target. The largest manufacturing site, at Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki in Poland, installed a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in 2011 that now saves almost a quarter of the factory’s CO2 emissions. In 2011, the RB site at Iksan in Korea achieved two years operation without an accident involving lost working time. It also became one of the first companies in Korea to be certified to the international safety standard OHSAS18011.
Tassal rewarded with Coles Sustainable Leadership Award
Tassal is the recipient of a Coles Sustainable Seafood Leadership Award.
The accolade, presented during the annual Coles Seafood Supplier Forum, is in recognition of Tassal’s environmental policies and procedures, as well as its ongoing benchmarking of sustainability programs and initiatives.
Tassal Managing Director and CEO, Mark Ryan welcomed the recognition.
“We are delighted to receive this award, because we know just how seriously committed Coles are to sustainable seafood, an ethos Tassal has shared for many years,” he said.
“The award acknowledges the environmental policies and procedures implemented thus far by Tassal. It will, however, also serve as a reminder to Tassal of the journey ahead, a journey we now look forward to taking in partnership with WWF‐Australia so that we remain one of the most diligent and accountable operators in Australian aquaculture,” Mr Ryan said.
Coles Head of Quality, Policy and Governance, Jackie Healing, said she hoped the award would set a standard to which other suppliers would aspire. “Congratulations to the team at Tassal who have put sustainability at the centre of their business and demonstrated a clear understanding of its importance to our seafood customers. Proactive suppliers like Tassal recognise that moving towards a sustainable seafood supply chain not only makes good environmental sense but also creates new business opportunities as customers put greater importance on the sustainability of the products they buy.”
Coles has set an ambitious and worthwhile target to provide customers with exclusively sustainable fresh, frozen and canned seafood by 2015, an objective Tassal looks forward to helping the retailer achieve.
Tassal serves up on 'MasterChef'
Australia's leading salmon producer Tassal will join 'MasterChef Australia 2012' as a Production Partner.
The association will see fresh Tassal salmon used during programming.
Tassal spokesperson Caroline Hounsell is confident the partnership will highlight just how easy and versatile it is to prepare and cook with salmon.
“The beauty of salmon is it is so incredibly versatile. You can buy it fresh, hot smoked, cold smoked, marinated and you can pan fry it, bake it, poach it, wok it, serve it raw – the options seem endless. Coming on board with ‘MasterChef’ is a great way to remind food lovers just how easy and versatile salmon can be,” Ms Hounsell said.
Tassal salmon will be used on ‘MasterChef Australia’ episodes in June 2012.
Shop A Docket appoints Avalde Digital to spearhead its new digital strategy
Shop A Docket has announced a development partnership with Avalde Digital.
In line with Shop A Docket’s new online and mobile strategies, the partnership will see Avalde Digital bring these new initiatives to fruition.
“Shop A Docket's association with Avalde Digital will allow our advertisers exciting new opportunities to further reach existing and new consumers by giving them access to an even greater range of genuine savings and discounts online and via their mobile phone,” says Quaetapo, Shop A Docket’s Chief Operations Manager/Digital.
Avalde Digital Managing Director, Melanie Lindquist, says: “We are pleased to be appointed as Shop A Docket’s digital agency. The team is working hand in hand with Shop A Docket to evolve the touch points of their consumer relationship. The partnership will include a multi-platform service for customers, web through to mobile, design through to technical development.”
According to Shop A Docket’s most recent quarterly consumer survey, 63 per cent of shoppers prefer to receive their coupons via the internet.
“With our combined strengths of Shop A Docket’s market leadership in the coupon space and Avalde Digital’s cutting edge digital know-how, we are looking forward to leading the way in giving consumers the ultimate end-user experience when it comes to redeeming coupons and discounts,” Quaetapo said.
“With 157 million dockets printed each week and one of Australia’s largest active online consumer databases, we know it will be an exciting partnership,” Ms Lindquist added.
Through Avalde Digital’s development of Shop A Docket’s digital offerings, the expectation is that Shop A Docket will further extend its already considerable reach on Australian grocery buyers. The enhanced platforms will provide consumers with greater accessibility and flexibility to find and redeem offers wherever they are.
Eye launches the world's largest mobile enabled out-of-home network
Eye has launched the immediate activation of Amplify, the world's largest mobile enabled digital out-of-home network.
Amplify is a technology-agnostic platform that enables advertisers to extend traditional Out-of-Home campaigns onto mobile phones using QR (Quick Response codes), NFC (Near Field Communications), SMS and AR (Augmented Reality). In the US, this complements their existing Mobile Proximity Marketing offering (Bluetooth and WiFi) which is powered by Mobiquity Networks.
Gerry Thorley, Eye’s CEO said, “The conventional approach the industry often takes is to push whatever the latest technology happens to be which quickly becomes outmoded and doesn’t start from a client’s perspective. The Amplify proposition means that we can always start with the client challenge and recommend an appropriate solution using whichever technology platform is most appropriate rather than pushing the latest widget”.
Eye has developed a single Amplify platform which incorporates an NFC chip, QR code display and SMS response mechanic. The installation of the devices is beginning to be rolled out across 8,300 of their existing Out-of-Home sites across Australia, New Zealand, the US and UK.
Jeremy Corfield, Global Director – Commercial at Eye said, “With the exponential growth in smartphone penetration, advertisers recognise the power of mobile but the technology itself can often be the barrier to trial. With Amplify, we have removed that perceived complexity.
Whether it’s mobile coupons to drive product trial, movie trailers to encourage viewing, loyalty programs for ongoing connections, augmented reality for creative amplification or simply a call to action to drive web traffic, our Amplify solution delivers all in one. The scale of our investment opens up the opportunity for major advertises to create meaningful campaigns.”
The Amplify network operates across airports, shopping centres and universities enabling advertisers to create mobile enabled conversations in environments with heightened dwell time. The network will be progressively activated from June 1 with launch clients currently being confirmed in each market.
NAB says bricks and clicks need to stick together
National Australia Bank's (NAB) latest Online Retail Sales Index was released on May 28 valuing online sales in Australia for the year to April 2012 at $11.1 billion.
The Index found that online sales are equivalent to 5.1 per cent of traditional retail spending, up from 4.9 per cent in 2011.
There has been a clear slowdown in growth over the past year, with the year-on-year growth rate declining to just 15 per cent for the month of April – although growth in online sales continues to outpace traditional retail.
NAB Head of Consumer Sectors, David Thorn, said while online sales are becoming a larger proportion of retailer turnover, businesses are taking a multi channel approach by developing an online presence alongside a traditional storefront.
“There’s no doubt that Australian’s retail sector is undergoing a structural change as consumers become more sophisticated in their purchasing decisions and how they engage with a retailer. The Index provides valuable insight into these changes and enables retailers to see trends across individual categories, states and demographics”.
The Index found that domestic retailers – those that are Australian for tax purposes – continue to dominate online retail sales, with a 73 per cent share of the market. Growth in domestic sales pulled back to 16 per cent year-on-year, compared to international sales which increased by 13 per cent year-on-year to April 2012.
Who are the big spenders – Australia’s online spending continues to be dominated by those in their 30s and 40s, with Gen Y spending remaining below average. Under 30s are spending more on online Department Stores and Recreation, whereas over 60s spend more on Food and Beverages. The under 30s have a higher propensity to purchase from international retailers –one third of spending from 30s is made overseas compared to a quarter for all other age groups.
Metro versus regional spend – the majority of online purchases continue to be made by metropolitan residents, accounting for 72 per cent in the year to April 2012. While coming from a lower base the growth of regional spending has outperformed that of metropolitan spending since the start of 2011.
State-by-state analysis – Western Australia (WA) remains the notable stand out of online sales growing by 32 per cent year-on-year – more than double the national average. By age group, there some notable divergences from the national average in WA with growth rates considerably stronger in WA for those in the 30s, 40s and 50s.
In per capita terms, online spending remains the strongest in the ACT and Northern Territory. By comparison, per capita spending of South Australia in particular, but also Victoria and Queensland is well below the national average.
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