Closing Stores Is Often Treating The Symptoms, Not The Disease.

If media reports are to be believed, there is an apparent rush right now for underperforming retailers to close stores. Blaming high rents as a major cause of their problems, they radically prune their distribution capabilities as if relegating shop space to a cost centre rather than a profit centre. At one time these retailers were happy to sign the very same leases they now refer to as onerous. So what changed? Don’t get me wrong, there are legitimate (although rare) reasons why closing a store and exiting a catchment area makes sense and often this is down to admitting a mistake in entering that specific location in the first place.

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How Does The Facebook Inquiry Relate To Retail?

In the latest example of the United States Democratic political machine’s inability to accept losing the ‘unlosable election’, Facebook has become the next scapegoat for failure. The spectacle of one small geeky guy being bullied by 20 senators and the might of the ‘political inquisition’ is absurd theatre that may provide some people with an avenue to exorcise their frustration but will change little.

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Who Gains From “Fake News” About A Bid For Myer?

Last week the retail news cycle went into frenzy mode on rumours that David Jones parent company Woolworths SA were looking into acquiring their department store rival. Complete bollocks according to Woolworths SA who were forced into making a denial to the market. However, in the meantime, Myer share price soared more than 8 per cent on the “fake news”. So who started the rumour and why? Who gained from it?

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So What’s The Game Plan Now For Myer?

The latest moves from within the Myer camp have indicated they are retreating to their historically preferred defensive ground of ‘glorified K-Mart’ – a reflex operating mode that has always emerged out of a position of fear and deeply entrenches the very problems that are killing them. In particular, margins declining faster than they can cut the cost base and customers deserting them in droves because, lets face it, K-Mart does a better job at being K-Mart.

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In Politics & Retail We Get What We Deserve.

The recent round of electoral activity has reminded us once again of the negative power of the electorate and the lack of understanding between action and outcome that resides in the mind of the voter. The electorate now has a long history of not delivering outright power to a single party ensuring the continuation of chaos and then gets frustrated with a lack of leadership. The media arguably both creates the situation and exploits it by ensuring coverage pre-election throws up every negative angle possible and then inserts itself into government through continued commentary and so-called ‘opinion polls once a government is seemingly ‘in power’.

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Bunnings Needs More Time To Make A Fist Of The UK.

It can be argued that Wesfarmers learned very little from Woolworths foray into hardware in Australia. After all, taking on a dominant number one in any market – let alone a market dominated by trade relationships such as hardware – is fraught with disaster. Just ask Eric Watson about his Countdown UK electronics retailing fiasco.

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