In The Age Of Science Are You Driven By The Dogma Of ‘Ancient’ Words Or The Beauty Of Experimentation & Observation?

t’s a great quote and one I borrow unashamedly from Richard Dawkins. While he was using it to express why science explains and celebrates the joy of nature and our place in it, it could just as easily be applied to the contemporary malaise in retail – not just domestically but globally. For in retail we have reached a cross roads where old thinking is seeing the demise of once successful businesses and celebrated business models.

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Just How Short Sighted Are Some Of Our Landlords?

Without wishing to sound too much like a bad spy novel, I had a coffee with a secret leasing agent James Blond# (not his real name) the other day and the subject turned to the competitive context posed by international fashion brands. While we worked our way through the extensive list of issues that many domestic fashion brands find it hard to compete against, the big one that came out of the conversation was rents and rental differentials.

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Surprised By The Demise of David Lawrence & Marcs? Really?

The recent announcement that the M.Webster Holdings businesses have been placed into voluntary administration and are looking for a buyer or bailout has received mixed responses. But has this outcome really surprised people who know retail? This isn’t the first nor will it be the last Australian fashion brand who succumbs to the pressures of contemporary retail so it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.

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Does The Easter Bunny Really Want To Come Out To Play In January?

Retail has been a calendar-based business for all of its 3,500 year-old history. Seasonal promotions have always served an important part of the retail calendar, connecting into the human emotions of customers and driving peak spending patterns. But in the last twenty years something quite dramatic has emerged in the engineering of those promotional periods that has caused them to be stretched over much longer timeframes – some up to 20 weeks now.

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Supplier Payment Terms – Morality Tale or Legislative Imperative?

Last year during a high profile legal process, the former Chairman of a publicly listed retailer openly confessed that the company had pushed out supplier payments as an embedded pillar of ‘business as usual’. Not only was he not contrite nor apologetic about the practice, he extolled the virtues of such an approach as a sound and operationally legitimate way of reducing capital tied up in inventory to be deployed elsewhere for aggressive growth.

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Amazon Will Huff & Puff, But Will They Blow Your House Down?

If you read the propaganda masquerading as ‘news’ about Amazon you would believe that this ‘Big, Bad Wolf’ will be rolling into town and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake that is the retail equivalent of Nagasaki after the bomb was dropped. Make no mistake, Amazon has one of the best public relations machines in global marketing. How else can you explain a market capitalization that defies the gravitational effect of actual return on investment and trading performance that affects every other traditional retailer on the planet.

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