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THE NEWS WRAP: David Jones not discounting its strategy despite falling sales

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

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."




Wall Street was closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. The Aussie dollar is down to US96.38 cents.