Ii) Retail Industry (Department Stores Australia)

- shopping hasn't really changed much in the last 50 years. In Australia the supermarket chains of Woolworths and Coles dominate the $1.4b. online food and liquor market. New players like HelloFresh, based on recipe creation and ingredient curation, are challenging the supermarkets by delivering fresh and package ingredients and recipes to consumers to cook in their own kitchens.

- for decades department stores have been losing market share to specialty retailers, ie department stores' share of total retail sales has fallen from 12% in 1989, to 10% in 1999, and to under 8% by 2012. More recently,online retailers have been having a negative impact on in-store sales, ie they account for around 10% of the total department store sales. Online offers lower prices and infinite choice. Total online retail sales grew by 21% in 2012/13 while total retail sales grew only by 2.5%

- department stores are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade point-of-sale, merchandise management, supply chain systems and Internet-based platforms for online sales in an endeavour to reinvent themselves. For example, Myer's online sales doubled in 2013, reaching $50 m ; and it became profitable for the first time. Its website had 1.3 m visits in the first 9 months of 2013.

- other attempts to reinvent themselves include introducing new services such as manicures & eyebrow waxes; encouraging personal shoppers by focusing on hip, brand houses; stores within stores; celebrities, fashion parades and art shows rather than price-based promotions to encourage customers into the stores' ie make the stores at tourist destination and/or create in-store theatre.

- More on retail, department stores' demise (USA)

- in 1988, Sears (department retailer) was in Dow 30 & now not in S&P 500

- Borders (was a top book & music retailer) & Circuit City (was 2nd largest electronic retailer) gone in 2009

- Barnes & Noble (largest book retailer) reducing numbers of stores; while online Amazon earns $600,000 per sales-staff, ie 3 times retail average)

- Kmart (discount stores) closed 40% of its stores in the last decade

- Best Buy (was largest electronic retailer & named company of the year in 2004 by Forbes Magazine) is dying, ie is planning to shut around 2,400 stores

 

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