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Aldi ends the Woolworths fantasy

ELIZABETH KNIGHT 12:15am Aldi's rapid expansion means the Australian supermarket industry is at a tipping point.

Comments 19

ACT retail figures for January fall hardest in Australia

 Work progresses at the Canberra Ikea store worksite at Majura Park.

JOHN THISTLETON 11:30pm Canberra retailers have missed out on the flow-on benefits of lower petrol prices and interest rates.

Abercrombie & Fitch exits Australia, taking its private jet with it

Abercrombie & Fitch has packed its bags and is exiting the Australian market.

Carrie LaFrenz 12:54am After just a few short years and tumbling sales, Abercrombie & Fitch will exit Australia as the teen retailer struggles to reinvent itself.

ACCC targets Reckitt Benckiser over 'misleading' Nurofen claims

The ACCC said the caplets in all four products contained the same active ingredient, ibuprofen lysine 342mg.

BEAU DONELLY The consumer watchdog has launched legal action against drug giant Reckitt Benckiser, alleging it misled customers over claims its range of Nurofen products targeted specific areas of pain.

Comments 17

Aldi growth poses threat to big two, Moody's says

Aldi's rapid growth along the east coast of Australia and plans to expand into South Australia and Western Australia pose a serious threat to Woolworths and Coles, Moody's says.

Sue Mitchell A slump in supermarket sales in January has reignited concerns about the outlook for the $88 billion grocery trade as Woolworths, Coles and Aldi cut prices and open new stores.

Myer is good for laughs – not governance

Michael Pascoe dinkus Dinkus

MICHAEL PASCOE What a wonderfully amusing start to the week Myer has provided with its "Weak end for Bernie" – as long as your sense of humour verges on the dark side.

Online retail spending hits $16.6b, but growth slows

Online sales continue to be on the rise, but growth rates are slowing.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Online retail spending grew by 9 per cent in the year to January to $16.6 billion, almost double the growth rate of traditonal bricks-and-mortar retailers.

New Myer team to embark on transformation

RETAIL AFR PHOTOGRAPH BY GLENN HUNT 10 APRIL 2007.  GENERIC- retail, shopping, fashion, myer  AFR FIRST USE ONLY SPECIALX 99999999 Myer generic escalator

Sue Mitchell Myer shareholders are bracing for a sharp fall in earnings and big asset write-downs and provisions over the next few years as the new management team embarks on a multi-year transformation plan to reshape the 115-year-old department store chain.

Solomon Lew collects as Globe International resumes dividends

Mr Lew's investment vehicle, Poly Town, holds 5.88 per cent of Globe and has been on the register for more than 11 years.

Simon Evans Retail billionaire Solomon Lew will collect a $73,000 dividend payment from skateboard and streetwear company Globe International on March 27 in a symbol of the improved fortunes of the group.

New Myer chief executive Richard Umbers promises to put customers first as Bernie Brookes departs

Stepping down: Myer chief Bernie Brookes.

Sue Mitchell The future of Australia's biggest department store chain, Myer, is in the hands of two British retailers who will attempt to reverse a 20-year slide in sales by analysing customer shopping data and using digital technology, brands and store theatre to win back lost market share.

Myer’s new British CEO gets a tough welcome from investors

Stepping down: Myer chief Bernie Brookes.

Sue Mitchell The future of Australia's biggest department store chain, Myer, is now in the hands of two UK retailers who will attempt to reverse a 20-year slide in sales by analysing customer shopping data and using digital technology, brands and store theatre to win back lost market share.

Woolworths open on food labelling, but industry wary

THE LABEL CAN LIE: Labels provide a number that likely overestimates the calories available in unprocessed foods. Food labels ignore the costs of the digestive process — losses to bacteria and energy spent digesting. The costs are lower for processed items, so the amount of overestimation on their labels is less.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Food manufacturers say changes on country-of-origin labelling in the wake of the hepatitis A outbreak need to get the balance right.

Woolworths flags price cuts

Woolworths chief executive Grant O'Brien played down fears of an all-out price war.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Shoppers can expect some hip-pocket reprieve this year, with Australia's dominant supermarket chains flagging lower prices in the $88 billion food and grocery market.

Weight Watchers is losing race against fitness trackers

Fitness trackers have surged in popularity.

Antonia Massa Weight Watchers is losing the race for customers against fitness gadgets. Revenue fell 10 per cent to $US327.8 million ($421 million) in the December quarter, declining for the eighth straight period as FitBit, Jawbone and other activity trackers lure dieters away.

Go Harvey Norman – profit up 27pc after slashing franchisee support

Gerry Harvey expects positive trends in the business to continue.

Sue Mitchell Harvey Norman is heading for a second year of double-digit profit growth, as record low interest rates and rising house prices fuel demand for furniture, whitegoods and homewares in Australia and overseas.

Goodman Fielder approves $1.3b Wilmar International, First Pacific takeover

Shareholders of food company Goodman Fielder have approved a $1.3 billion takeover.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Shareholders of Australia's largest listed food manufacturer Goodman Fielder have voted in favour of a $1.3 billion takeover offer from Singapore oils trader Wilmar International and Hong Kong investment company First Pacific.

Vissla makes inroads as Billabong sales slip

Carrie LaFrenz While Billabong International continues to address a slide in underlying sales in key regions, its former executives are firmly focused on establishing their new brand, Vissla, amid a crowded market.

Melbourne ice cream maker Dairy Bell saved by Bon Appetit deal

AFR FIRST USE ONLY  People eating icecream. Generic Ice Cream, food, sweet, summer. Tuesday 10 January 2006 AFR photo Louie Douvis SPECIALX 45967

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Forty-five-year-old Melbourne ice cream maker Dairy Bell has found a new owner and will open a new store near its old East Malvern manufacturing plant.

ACCC warns regional petrol stations as city-country price difference jumps

Bowser prices would have been even lower had it not been for the slump of the Australian dollar, which  makes imported goods such as petrol more expensive.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Petrol prices fell by 42.7¢ on average in the seven months to January, consistent with the slump in crude oil and refined petrol prices - but regional drivers were paying more.

Woolworths' Masters bleeding less red ink

The Age  30 August 2011.  Woolworths is opening its first Masters hardware store in Braybrook.
Pic by Rebecca Hallas

Sue Mitchell Woolworths' loss-making home improvement chain Masters is carving up car parks and leasing sites to other retailers in an attempt to boost returns on its $2.9 billion investment with joint-venture partner Lowe's.

Collapsed Melbourne fashion retailer FAT closes two stores as seeks new buyer

It's the second collapse for FAT since 2012, which employs about 40 staff.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Melbourne independent fashion retailer FAT has closed two stores but has attracted interest from potential buyers after going bust with a debt load believed to be about $4 million.

Billabong downplays comments about European unit ahead of group results

Carrie LaFrenz Boardsports retailer Billabong International has downplayed comments about performance of its European business ahead of group results.

Woolworths revises down guidance, says sales not satisfactory

Woolworths is reshuffling the management of its supermarket business.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Fears about Woolworths's longer-term outlook lead to a share-price smash, after the No.1 supermarket issued a rare profit downgrade, described its first-half sales result as "unsatisfying" and announced the departure of its supermarkets boss.

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Retail Food Group eyes more coffee, remains buoyant as shares climb


MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Shares in operator of Donut King, Brumby's and Crust food chains rise to all-time high as it posts profit rises, says it maintains 'buoyant outlook.'

Surfstitch sets sights on $1b prize

Surfstitch shares, which were issued at $1, are trading at $1.18.

Sue Mitchell Online surf and action sports retailer Surfstitch is on track to deliver its first profit in three years.

Coles could face record penalty over 'fresh' bread deceit

Battle for the bread market

BEAU DONELLY Australia's consumer watchdog has called for fines of at least $4 million to be handed down against Coles for deceiving consumers about the freshness of its bread.

Hep A outbreak hits a sour note for Patties

Customers are not buying frozen berries, but opting for the fresh variety.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Troubled food manufacturer Patties Foods Limited says it will take weeks to ascertain whether there is a link between its frozen berries and the Hepatitis A outbreak.

Woolworths inks deal with eBay to drive online/offline sales

eBay shoppers will be able to pick up their purchases from Woolworths owned stores

Sue Mitchell In an unlikely alliance, Woolworths is joining forces with eBay, one of its largest competitors, to boost spending by making it easier for shoppers to collect online purchases.

Breville says negative consumer confidence in Australia

Net profit at the kitchen appliance maker fell 4.9 per cent to $29.7 million for the six months ended 31 December 2014, while total revenue fell 5.6 per cent in the first half.

MADELEINE HEFFERNAN Kitchen appliance maker flags continued challenging business conditions as it posts slide in half-year profit.

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