Australian online custom shoe design company Shoes of Prey has won gold at the World Retail Awards in Paris for store design. Shoes of Prey co-founder Jodie Fox told StartupSmart from China, where she’s working with the company’s product team, the win was a “wonderful coup”. “There won’t be many times in my life I can say I beat Karl Lagerfeld,” she says. Located on the fourth floor of upmarket department store David Jones in Sydney’s CBD, the store has been outperforming expectations in the nine months since it opened, Fox says. “It’s really proven itself,” she says, adding that the company is excited by its possibilities, although plans to roll out more physical stores were yet to be confirmed. The store was designed by retail specialists The General Store and beat the Puma flagship store in Osaka, Japan, and a Karl Lagerfeld concept store in Paris in the less than 1200sqm award category. Strategy partner at The General Store, Matt Newell, told StartupSmart his team approached the design in terms of creating an experience. “I said to Jodie the last thing I will give you is a beautifully designed store. We wanted to present an experience,” he says. The Shoes of Prey store is just 29sqm in size and dominated by a 2.4 metre high flower made out of the company’s shoes by set designers from the Australian Ballet and includes many of the materials used to make the shoes. It features a table finished with soft black leather, chairs made with a range of materials like suede and stamped patent leather, a “signature scent” and “custom-composed” soundtrack that includes the sounds of high heels clicking and Fox’s cat purring. Newell says he hopes the Australian retail industry will consider the importance of multidisciplinary teams when it comes to retail design and “goes for it” in future. “Australian retailers have this terrible tendency to travel around the world and steal ideas from (British supermarket chain) Tesco and bring it back and do it half as well,” he says. “We’re so focused on what the rest of the world is doing, we should be backing ourselves. The creative talent in Australia is off the charts.” Shoes of Prey chief executive Michael Fox said in a statement: “This is our first foray into physical retail, so winning ‘Store Design of the Year’ at the World Retail Awards is an incredible achievement for our team.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned about the “significant legal risks” of compulsory arbitration in a confidential 2010 letter to the ACTU, leaked to The Australian. The letter points out the government’s view at the time was that fair Work Australia should not be given new powers to settle disputes about national employment standards or modern awards by creating new rights, with such powers bringing the risk of a constitutional challenge. “Such a challenge would take time to be resolved and this in itself would create significant undesirable uncertainty around the validity of agreements, the bargaining framework and the (Fair Work) Act as a whole,” Gillard warned in the letter. Coles planning to shelve independent field agents Coles is considering a radical plan to sideline independent field agents by licencing a small number of agents with agreed fees that would deal with suppliers and the supermarket. “One area suppliers tell us we could improve is how we work with their field force teams – reps they employ to support their brand in-store,” a Coles spokesperson says. “So we are currently exploring options to make this service better for suppliers, better for our stores and most importantly better for customers.” Retailers embrace UnionPay in a bid for the $800 million Chinese tourist market A growing number of retailers including David Jones are embracing UnionPay, a bank card system favoured by middle class tourists from China, with $800 million expected to be spent through the payment system this year. “Overseas merchants pay careful attention to Chinese consumers. For example, foreign visitors are responsible for a significant portion of consumer spending in Australia and the Chinese are the most important part of this group,” UnionPay chairman Su Ning says. “We have long recognised that as retailers we are competing internationally and the ability to tap into the lucrative Chinese markets is a great strategic advantage for us,” David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra said. Overnight The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 1.4% to 15,115.57. The Aussie dollar is steady at US96.24 cents.
The latest data for online retail sales have shown once again the digital world is faring better than bricks-and-mortar, providing some hope despite recent lacklustre industry results. The results from NAB comes alongside complaints earlier this week from the retail industry that an unseasonably warm autumn has caused a build-up of winter stock among some retailers, which will be forced to sell at a discount. The latest NAB statistics show Australians spent $13.5 billion online in the year to April, equivalent to about 6% of bricks-and-mortar spending. After a dip in March, April recorded 23% growth year-on-year for online sales, with the strongest growth recorded in fashion, daily deals and media – three industries which have typically recorded strong online spending. Strongest spending per capita was recorded among those aged between 25 to 54 years old, with residents in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Western Australia. Regional WA has recorded the highest growth rate for per capita spending. NAB chief economist Alan Oster said in the bank's report it was "encouraging" to see a gradual lift among retail sentiment in April, and noted online sales represent 6% of all spending, up from 5.2% at the same time last year. "While we're seeing businesses take a multi-channel approach by developing an online presence alongside a traditional storefront, growth rates among businesses remains mixed," he said. "However, encouragingly, online sales have grown by over $2 billion in the past year, evidence that retailers are becoming more sophisticated in how they engage with their customers." Based on the share of spend, department and variety stores took the biggest slice at 36%, which coincides with David Jones' announcement this week that online sales have continued to grow well. Homewares and appliances followed at 18%, followed by groceries and liquor at 14% and media at 11%. Games and toys were the smallest group for total spending, at just 2%. Once again, domestic retailers dominated spending with 72% of all money spent, slightly below the average level of last year but above the low of 71% in July 2012. But the growth in spending isn't the only positive. Telsyte senior analyst Sam Yip told SmartCompany not only is spending increasing, but average spending has increased as well. "We're seeing the average price point increase, so we're seeing people spend more on high-price travel deals and restaurants and so on." Daily deals sites, which are regularly some of the most popular online retail destinations, have been experimenting with more pricey travel products. Yip also points to the share of spending being directed towards department stores, saying while the increase in spending is encouraging, department stores still lag behind the rest of the industry. "It is encouraging, but the scale is quite small. These sorts of companies need to realise they can operate significantly differently from their bricks-and-mortar operations." "Once you move online, it's all about range." This story first appeared on SmartCompany.
David Jones has revealed its sales in the quarter to April have slumped 2.2% year-on-year to $391 million while same store sales fell by 3.4% $386.2 million, with the retailer blaming unseasonably warm weather between January and April for unusually slow fashion sales. However, David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra is continuing to back a strategy of avoiding price discounts, claiming that retreating on the policy would damage long-term shareholder value. “I can easily turn sales on by discounting, it's not difficult, not complex, but we chose not to do that on … low-margin categories just to get a top-line sales number. It's about the profit and that's what investors will be looking for,” Zahra said. Ten hopes event TV will reverse declining fortunes Ten chief executive Hamish McLennan has announced a strategy of using ‘event TV’, including live sports, news and reality TV series, in a bid to prevent viewers time-shifting. “Live sport doesn't get time-shifted, and we will have a greater focus on news, and big franchises like Australian Idol. That's why you're now seeing a strong commitment from advertisers for upcoming programs on Ten like The Bachelor,” McLennan said. The broadcaster will also switch away from its traditional target demographic of 18-to 49-year-olds after noting declining TV viewership at the younger end of its demographic, with the network instead targeting people aged 25 to 54. Huawei calls for greater transparency around cybersecurity John Suffolk, the global cyber security officer at telecommunication equipment giant Huawei, has called on governments and businesses to be more transparent in reporting cybersecurity breaches. "Businesses are generally saying that if they have to report breaches, they don't want to be penalised for being honest. They don't want shareholders or governments to think worse of them because they are worried that reporting breaches could negatively impact their business. So what's happening is government and business is staying silent," Suffolk said. "But I think we need more transparency. In Europe, the European Commission is trying to bring in mandatory breach reporting." Overnight Wall Street was closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. The Aussie dollar is down to US96.38 cents.
The manufacturing arm of the Byron Bay Cookies has been placed into voluntary administration.
Small retailers have no choice but to emulate the fast turnaround times of the major chains, says an industry expert, amid rumours UK fast fashion chain Miss Selfridge is coming to Australia.
Gourmet biscuit producer Byron Bay Cookies intends to go global with its franchising model, after establishing six Australian stores, and is looking for franchisees to fuel its expansion.
Mining giant Rio Tinto has reported a $US2.99 billion loss for 2012, with chief executive Sam Walsh admitting the mining giant has demonstrated “poor judgement” in the past.
Over the weekend, the renowned make-up artist and cosmetic company entrepreneur Napoleon Perdis caused quite a stir with the common sense suggestion that department stores could reverse their flagging fortunes by investing in their staff.
For many people, the Mayan end-of-the-world prophecy is simply a hyped-up event that will come and pass without notice, just like every other prediction of its kind.
It’s October and already retailers are adorning their shop fronts with Christmas paraphernalia. In fact, David Jones has been selling Christmas trees and decorations since mid-August.
Sisters Fiona Pearse and Emma Cronin withstood a death threat and having their car tyres slashed in the lead up to the launch of their three-hour delivery site WantItNow yesterday.
Start-ups should take note of the customer service “sins” committed by major retailers such as Harvey Norman, which received the poorest feedback in a ‘shadow shop’ conducted by Choice.
The collapse of an iconic South Australian book retailer has highlighted the bleak nature of the bookselling market, which is propped up by a growing number of independent retailers, experts say.
A Sydney entrepreneur is close to a multi-million dollar capital raising for a start-up that was conceived, attracted big name clients such as Ralph Lauren and Sportsgirl and launched all in less than a year.
In the wash-up from Darrell Lea, it may be timely to reflect on the first lesson of business: Keep your finger on the pulse and your eye on the bottom line, and do both at the same time.
Public support for the carbon tax has hit a record low, according to a new poll, as both main political parties crank up the rhetoric on the scheme, which launched yesterday.
It is a rather grim irony that the York Butter Factory – a venture designed to unearth the most innovative, modern tech businesses in Australia – could fall foul to the kind of needless Twitter gaffe that other, less web-savvy, companies have blundered into.
David Jones’ net profit for the six months to the end of January fell 19.6% yet Oroton posted a 4% profit increase, suggesting start-ups can learn from both retailers, albeit for different reasons.
David Jones is to invest $160 million in the next two years in a desperate attempt to turn around its fortunes in the face of rising online sales.