Retail

 

Rod Duke steps down from Pumpkin Patch board

fun in pumpkin patch, North Dakota. Image suppied by North Dakota Tourism.

Carrie LaFrenz   Kiwi retailer Rod Duke will step down from the board of ailing children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch to focus on Briscoe Group and its proposed takeover of outdoor and adventurewear chain Kathmandu.

Baby Bunting on growth spurt ahead of potential IPO

Baby Bunting has grown store numbers from four to 31.

Sue Mitchell   Baby Buntingis looking at raising between $50 million and $70 million in an initial public offer to fund the next stage of growth.

Kathmandu urges shareholders to 'take no action'

Briscoe Group's bid for Kathmandu equates to an offer price of $NZ1.80 a share.

Carrie LaFrenz   The board of takeover target Kathmandu has advised shareholders to "take no action" in relation to the surprise $324 million bid from Briscoe Group.

PacBrands debt free as it upgrades profit

Bonds

Sue Mitchell   Pacific Brands is debt free for the first time in at least 11 years, after selling off iconic brands such as Volley, Grosby and Hard Yakka and opening dedicated Bonds and Sheridan retail stores.

NSW winery chooses Japan over Woolies, Coles

Cassegrain Wines supplies 700,000 small bottles of wine a year to passengers on Japanese bullet trains. But it is fed up with Australia's major liquor chains.

Simon Evans   Cassegrain supplies about 700,000 small bottles of wine a year to Japan's bullet trains and plans to sell in Japanese supermarkets, rather than Woolies and Coles.

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Is Facebook becoming the new eBay?

Penny Lane, founder of a popular Facebook group for buying selling second-hand high-end clothes.

Patrick Hatch   Small communities of buyers and sellers are building an alternative to the digital retail giants. How long until Facebook takes a slice of pie?

Shopping on mobile devices booming, but potential still untapped: report

smartphone

Patrick Hatch   More than a quarter of online retail purchases in Australia are made on mobile devices, amounting to sales worth $4 billion every year, a new report has found.

Briscoe's Duke to cut stake in company under Kathmandu offer

Rod Duke will seek an ASX listing for Briscoe Group if the acquisition of Kathmandu is successful.

Carrie LaFrenz   Briscoe Group managing director and major shareholder, Rod Duke, is prepared to slash his stake in the Kiwi retailer by one-third as part of a $324 million takeover of ailing outdoor clothing and adventure wear retailer Kathmandu.

Tassal nets De Costi Seafoods

The listed salmon producer Tassal has agreed to buy De Costi Seafoods in two stages – the first comprising an upfront $50 million payment.

Jared Lynch   Tasmanian salmon farmer Tassal has netted one of Australia's biggest seafood companies in a cash and share deal.

Murray Goulburn follows silk road to launch $1.2 billion IPO

Going ahead: Murray Goulburn Managing Director Gary Helou.

Investors from China to London and the US have backed partial float of Australia's biggest milk processor, Murray Goulburn.

Woolies poised for more pain

Analysts expect Woolworths to turn around its lacklustre performance but believe it will be a slow recovery.

Vesna Poljak and Jessica Gardner   Leading investors do not expect Grant O'Brien's successor as chief executive of Woolworths to put a swift end to the turmoil playing out at the grocery giant.

Founder says Duke right man to fix Kathmandu

Kathmandu founder former BRW Rich Lister Jan Cameron says Rodney Duke is an 'exceptional retailer'.

Carrie LaFrenz   Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron says Briscoe Group's Rod Duke is an "exceptional retailer" and the right man to fix the ailing outdoor clothing and adventure wear retailer.

JD.com founder shakes up a2 Milk takeover talk

Richard Liu, the founder of China's second-biggest online retailer, wants to invest in Australian companies.

Jared Lynch and Sarah Thompson   Chinese internet entrepreneur Richard Liu is mulling a partnership with a global dairy company to snare a share of a2.

Kathmandu shareholders balk at surprise Briscoe offer

Kathmandu sells adventure clothing and equipment at around 145 outlets in Australia and New Zealand and four in the UK.

Sue Mitchell   Kathmandu Holdings surged after New Zealand retailer Briscoe Group said it would make a takeover bid for the adventure clothing chain.

Kennett tells Coles to pay suppliers $12m

Jeff Kennett was appointed as an independent arbiter last year to resolve disputes between Coles and suppliers.

Sue Mitchell   When Jeff Kennett dobbed Coles into the competition regulator over false "baked fresh" bread claims two years ago he had no idea he would end up playing the role of King Solomon.

Woolworths serves up Thomas Dux sale

Market sources  say Woolworths is asking for between $10 million and $20 million for its Thomas Dux gourmet grocery chain.

Sue Mitchell   Food and liquor retailer Woolworths has started selling non-core assets, offering its Thomas Dux stores for sale less than a year after the 10-store gourmet food chain became profitable.

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Murray unfazed by a challenge

Dick Smith and Metcash chairman Rob Murray likes to take on roles where he can make a difference.

Carrie LaFrenz   Rob Murray does not shy away from a challenge. Perhaps it's his early rugby years, dreaming of playing as a professional until a serious neck injury shattered his goal.

a2 Milk relationship strong despite surprise takeover bid

Rory Mcleod, CEO, of Freedom Foods has partnered with US dairy giant Dean Foods Company in exploring a takeover of a2 Milk.

Jared Lynch   A2 Milk's biggest shareholder Freedom Foods signalled it wanted to sell its stake less than four months before lobbing a takeover bid for the company.

Reality check after Woolworths' surprise share jump

Woolworths has been hit hard by slow growth in its core supermarkets business and the $3 billion that has been sunk into the loss-making Masters hardware joint venture

Simon Evans   The steam has come out of an early surge in the Woolworths share price after it jumped by more than 5 per cent earlier on Friday on another bout of speculation of potential private equity interest.

Woolworths gets a C from suppliers

Elizabeth Knight

Elizabeth Knight   Poor service, bad prices, low morale - you don't have to cast a wide net to find a Woolworths customer with a gripe about Woolworths.

Competitors welcome DJ's gourmet food plans

"People these days want real food and there's a big movement towards real food, from farm to table," said Jones the Grocer chief executive Mark Watson.

Sue Mitchell and Simon Evans   One of Australia's first foodie emporiums, Jones the Grocer, says there's plenty of room for new players as consumers become increasingly willing to pay a premium for "real" food.

Chanel accused of 'bullying' small Australian chocolate maker

Chocolate and Chanel don't go together as the fashion house defends the trademark of its signature scent.

Jared Lynch   One, two, three, four, trademark protected, six? Global fashion house Chanel forces family business to change its branding after claiming a trademark infringement on its No.5 perfume.

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Melts in the mouth, not in the hands

chocolate

Corinne Gretler and Jan Schwalbe   Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut says it's ready to start selling chocolate that remains solid up to 38°C, leading the race to unlock billions in potential profits in hotter countries.

Woolworths vs Woolworths: DJ's new owner to disrupt food

David Jones food halls are set to get a makeover.

Sue Mitchell   Woolworths and Coles could soon be facing competition from an unlikely source, the South African owner of upmarket department store chain David Jones.

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Myer to refinance $600m debt

"The decision to refinance our outstanding facilities at this time represents an opportunity to secure more favourable pricing on improved terms over an extended period.": Myer chief Richard Umbers.

Sue Mitchell   Myer chief executive Richard Umbers has created breathing space to implement his turnaround plan, refinancing $600 million of debt, but it may still need to raise new equity to fund investments in stores and online.

Sweet revenge: Guylian plots expansion

Guylian hopes its expansion plan will increase throughput on the shelves of Coles and Woolworths as the brand's profile lifts.

Simon Evans   Is a Belgian chocolate maker's plan one of the best strategies to deliver better bargaining power with Coles and Woolies?

Aldi's tax needs 'a good look': Coles

Aldi is facing criticism from rival Wesfarmers over how much tax it pays in Australia.

Patrick Hatch   The chief of the Wesfarmers conglomerate that own Coles CEO Richard Goyder says foreign-owned supermarkets should pay the same tax as local retailers.

The Fresh Food Germans? Aldi hits Woolies and Coles where it hurts

For decades, Coles and Woolies have fought over who offers the freshest fruit and vegetables. Now Aldi is joining the fresh-fruit battle.

Byron Kaye   Fresh fruit and vegetables are the new frontline in Aldi's assault on the nation's $70 billion supermarket sector as the German discounter looks to beat its larger rivals at their own game.

Woolworths is far from a supermarket

Illustration: Simon Bosch.

Elizabeth Knight   Woolworth's decline was an accident waiting to happen.

Dairy industry figures boost Murray Goulburn IPO optimism

Murray Goulbourn chief Gary Helou has been jetting around Asia and interest from investors in the region has been strong.

Jared Lynch   Farmers are dodging a crash in global milk prices, according to Dairy Australia, adding confidence to IPO hopeful Murray Goulburn.