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Paul Keane

News in brief, 27 July

We have completed our national review of shopping centres, and the Retail Examiner is being prepared for distribution in early August. That edition will conclude which is the leading centre, with commentary about major shopping centres throughout New Zealand - it will be an interesting read.

Different area, same old centre

One prime issue that emerged from our review however, was that most shopping centres have a “sameness” about them. In a small country, with relatively short distances to travel, we need to offer the consumer a point of difference, rather than a constant similarity. Effectively we need to encourage customers to shop. Why do they need to travel to a centre that offers the same as the one next door?

There is a major opportunity for the creation of a significant point of difference rather than the same old! Can this be achieved? We think so, there are plenty of tired centres with good demographics that could capture the imagination of both retailers and consumers. Watch this space!

Cigarette’s, somewhere over the counter

Meantime, the cigarette cover-up is one of the most pathetic marketing campaigns ever invented. Let’s be frank, how many of us smoke? How many of us would be convinced to buy if we saw an advert for cigarettes? RCG were the retail designers for the Z service stations. The area behind the counter was preserved for cigarettes, and planned accordingly.

Now all that remains is a range of blank cupboards, all of which are a reminder to customers that cigarettes and tobacco are contained behind them. However, the image is a marketing disaster and does absolutely nothing for the interior retail planning.

Where does “control” end? Why are we so fascinated as a country in controlling what people can and cannot do? And really who cares? It’s a minority that dictates and a majority who remain silent over every issue. Through this action we could see the ultimate demise of the corner dairy as we know it. We wonder what’s next?

Kiwisaver signals 65+ remain active

Finally, this month, those who have put money into Kiwisaver and have turned 65 are entitled to withdraw their money from the scheme if they wish. Based on a Gareth Morgan Investments survey, we understand that about 20% of those entitled to withdraw will do so. That leaves 80% either remaining in the scheme or undecided. Regardless, what this clearly suggests is that the 65-plus age group are still keen to work and remain active.

Is this a good thing for our economy, and why shouldn’t these “old people” make way for the younger generation? This is a two-edged sword. On one hand it’s time to slow down, but who will take over from this group, and if they have money what do they spend it on? There is no doubt that we are working longer in the belief that we will live longer to enjoy the proceeds of our efforts. Let’s hope this proves true for those of us affected!


Woolworths Limited is a major ASX-listed retailer, running Australia’s largest supermarket chain, as well as the Big W and Masters brands, plus petrol, tavern and liquor operations. Here in New Zealand, Woolworths runs the Countdown supermarkets and supplies Fresh Choice and Supervalue franchisees. For now at least, Woolworths owns the Dick Smith chain, although this company is up for sale.

Woolworths announced its sales for the year to June 2012 just this week. Sales from the New Zealand Supermarkets division rose 3.0% to $5.522 billion. Woolworths estimate their food price inflation within the supermarkets at 1.1%, and state that they “continued to grow market share”. Five new Countdowns were opened during the year.

Dick Smith’s New Zealand sales rose from $322 million to $331 million, not bad for a company that also closed stores during the year. Sales growth was driven by promotional activity, stock clearances and close-down sales.


In the press

Local and international media highlights 20 - 27 July 2012

Bidders queue to gobble up Darrell Lea
Darrell Lea's administrators say they are in talks with 90 local and international parties interested in buying the troubled chocolate business. Four of the parties, which were involved in sale talks before the company went into voluntary administration 10 days ago, were at a more advanced level of talks, administrator Mark Robinson said on Friday. "We've had 90 indications of interest," he told reporters after a creditors meeting in Sydney. "(The parties are) a combination of trade, strategic, and offshore interests."
(Source: Insideretail)

Olympics fillip for UK retailers
The Olympics are bringing longer Sunday shopping hours to England. Britain's government says restrictions on Sunday trading hours will be lifted during the games to maximise the economic benefit that the Olympics will bring to the country. Currently, British law stipulates that shops larger than 280 square metres can only open for six hours between 10am and 6pm on Sundays.
(Source: Insideretail)

Australia's best online retailers revealed
Fashion e-tailer SurfStitch has taken out the title of 2012 Online Retailer of the Year. The winners of the 2012 Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAs) were announced at a Gala Dinner in Sydney attended by 450 industry leaders and judged by a panel of international and local experts. SurfStitch nabbed three awards including Best Pureplay Retailer, Best Site Optimisation and Design, and Online Retailer of the Year.
(Source: Insideretail)

Mall on Shore to get new identity
Westfield Shore City is about to get a new name and new kids' playground. Evan Harris, Colliers International's national director of retail real estate management, said the rebranding was planned for the three-level Takapuna mall around November. The new playground and a new website would come afterwards, he said.
(Source: NZ Herald)

© RCG Ltd 2012
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