Aussie retailers and manufacturers are giving mining, property and tech billionaires a run for their money on this year's Rich List.
by Benedict Brook
20th May 2021 8:38 AM
The shuttering of UK retail icon Debenhams has sent shockwaves across Britain with the insolvent department store leaving a huge gap on 124 high streets and shopping centres.
But the ramifications of Debenhams' downfall are reverberating in Australia.
A retail analyst has said a "failure of the likes of Debenhams could happen in Australia".
COVID-19 hasn't helped retail anywhere. But the problems with department stores, like Debenhams, run deeper.
In Australia, chains have gone through a torrid few years as tastes change - some couldn't even blame tough times on a pandemic.
Roger David, Ed Harry and Shoes of Prey are all no more. Even global powerhouses like H&M have exited some Australian locations.
AS RUMOURS fly around what is happening at the Kern Arcade, Rockhampton Regional Council has strongly confirmed it is not involved with any sales or redevelopment.
It was later revealed the Kern Arcade would also close sometime early in the new year.
The Kern Arcade carpark.
It is understood the carpark will remain open.
The Morning Bulletin has reached out to many business people over the last week and a sale of the arcade could not be confirmed.
There has also been speculation the council has been involved, however this is not true.
Council’s official response was: “Rockhampton Regional Council can confirm that they have not purchased the Kern Arcade and they have not received any information regarding its closure.”
Power balance shifts as shopping habits change
A shift in the balance of power between landlords and retailers – which is already being exploited by Naomi Milgrom's Sussan Group and Solomon Lew's Premier Investments – has been driven by changes in consumer shopping habits during the coronavirus pandemic.
Consumers worried about their health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis favoured smaller shopping centres and neighbourhood strip centres, shopped more online, and changed the days and times they shopped, according to a KPMG white paper.
Thanks to COVID-19, the normal rules no longer apply to our shopping routine, or the relationship between retail tenants and landlords.
In 2006 Mr Stokes became the inaugural chairman of youth mental health group Headspace at a time when there was little understanding of the issue and its effect on people's lives. "Mental health was still an area that needed a lot of work to enhance the profile and remove that notional stigma that was there," he said.
"If we can tackle this issue early, then it will help people avoid having mental health issues as they grow up and move into adulthood."
Mr Stokes is the chief executive of the sprawling conglomerate Seven Group, chaired by Kerry Stokes. The ASX-listed $5.7 billion group owns Seven West Media, Coates Hire, WesTrac and the Caterpillar machinery equipment business.
Myer, David Jones, Sussan Group shamed as late bill payers
Some of Australia's biggest companies including Myer, David Jones, the Sussan Group and CIMIC been been accused by the small business ombudsman of "undermining" the national interest by delaying paying bills at a time when COVID-19 is threatening the future of many small companies.
The companies were named in the ombudsman's final report into supply chain finance which called for legislation to force big companies to pay small suppliers within 30 days.
"It is always disappointing when some of Australia’s most trusted brands such as Myer and David Jones offer payment terms that require a settlement discount to be paid by their small suppliers, on top of payment terms that, in the case of Myer, can be as late as four months following the end of the month in which the goods were delivered," ombudsman Kate Carnell said in the report.
Roy Morgan Research
Jeans retailers dominate clothing store customer satisfaction, as Jeanswest takes over from Just Jeans
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, November 2018 â October 2019, n= 3,397. Base: Australians 14+ who purchased from a clothing store in the past four weeks.
The Roy Morgan Clothing Store of the Month winner for October was Jeanswest, which finished with a customer satisfaction rating of 94%. Jeanswest has won the past two monthly awards, and has increased its rating by 6% since January.
The Roy Morgan Clothing Store Customer Satisfaction Report puts Jeanswest’s customer satisfaction rating ahead of Cotton On (91%), Just Jeans (91%), Zara (90%), Rivers (88%), Noni-B (88%), Suzanne Grae (87%), H&M (86%), Millers (86%) and Rockmans (86%).
Bill Rooney, the chief executive of 6one5 Retail Consulting Group, a retail strategist business, conducted demographic research and his findings from the data and analysis, is that all retail segments are in for a rough ride over the next six years to 2025.
Mr Rooney said the casualties will be large unless the retailers take swift action.
"In Australia and New Zealand there are a large number of established retailers focused in this over 40’s segment including, Noni B Group, Sussan Group (including Sussan and Suzanne Grae), David Jones, Myer, The Pas Group [Black Pepper and Review], Lowes, Country Road Group, Blue Illusion, Cue to name a few," Mr Rooney said.