Retail

 

Backpack makers rethink staple

Hiroko Tabuchi 7:46 PM   Long used for hauling books, the humble backpack is undergoing a major overhaul.

Mr Whippy licked into shape

Stan Gordon, CEO of Franchised Food Company, poses for a photo with a soft serve ice cream.

Catie Low 6:28 PM   Franchised Food Company has made over ice-cream icon Mr Whippy for a summer relaunch and traded in his pink-and-white van for a tuktuk.

Work starts on $59 million Bunnings warehouse at Gungahlin

Bunnings

Megan Doherty 5:32 PM   The 17,000 square metre outlet is taking shape on the corner of Gribble and Hibberson streets.

Battle for the baby bottle

Tara Lloyd feeds her 8-month-old daughter Gracie Perkin a2 Platinum infant formula.

Jared Lynch and Mark Hawthorne 4:51 PM   How 20 million screaming Chinese babies and health conscious local mums are driving a twin boom for some Aussie milk companies.

Fridges on the frontline as dollar dives

Milan Direct, Dean Ramler, is managing his firm's currency risks.

Catie Low 12:15 AM   Importers are working out how to keep ahead of the diving dollar.

The Force Awakens at midnight

The digital force awakens: The Star Wars movie collection is set to arrive on digital HD platforms.

Catie Low 12:59 PM   Australian Star Wars fans were the first in the world to get a look at the new Star Wars Episode 7 toys on Thursday.

Kathmandu loses place in ASX top 200

Kathmandu's share price has more than halved in the past year after a 53 per cent profit slump .

12:50 PM   The adventure wear retailer's problems have been highlighted by its exclusion from the share market's list of top 200 companies.

Fels to lead 7-Eleven pay inquiry

The former competition watchdog says 7-Eleven's model sets franchisees up to fail.

Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckert 10:33 AM   One of 7-Eleven's most savage critics, former ACCC tsar Allan Fels, will spearhead a company-funded investigation into the widespread exploitation of thousands of workers in the convenience store giant's franchise network.

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Apple becomes more reliant on iPhone as it prepares new models

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Adam Satariano and Alex Tribou 10:09 AM   For all the attention Apple has received for its new smartwatch and music service, the tech giant is increasingly dependent on the iPhone, which last year generated more sales than Google, Twitter and Facebook combined.

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'They won't want a bar of it'

Myer chief executive Richard Umbers has given himself one year's profit grace – a "transition" year in 2016.

Catie Low   Myer faces mum-and-dad snub as capital raising runs into trouble.

Economy

Retail sales slip for first time in 14 months

So you've bought it - but what happens if you discover it's 'not quite right'?

Gareth Hutchens   Retail sales fell 0.1 per cent in July, the first nationwide decline since May last year.

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Myer shares tumble to record low

There was never any doubt that new CEO, Richard Umbers, a  former British Army officer, was going to have to clear the decks.

Catie Low   Myer's share price has plunged 22 per cent since coming back onto the bourse today, amid uncertainty over the department store's strategy to drive sales growth.

Primo among pork brands making false 'free range' claims, says ACCC

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Esther Han   If you buy "free range" pork believing it's from pigs that can move about in a paddock, the ACCC says you have most likely been misled.

Samsung relents on faulty washing machines

Six Samsung top loader washing machine models are subject to a mandatory recall.

Esther Han   Samsung has relented to consumer anger over its plastic bag-and-tape fix for recalled washing machines, explicitly offering a replacement or refund to tens of thousands of customers unhappy with the controversial repair.

Briscoe walks away from $324m Kathmandu bid

Rod Duke of Briscoe Group. The company's retreat from Kathmandu raises questions over what it will do with its 20 per cent stake.

Catie Low   Rod Duke appears to have walked away from his $324 million bid for Kathmandu, after Briscoe Group said it would not raise the price of its scrip-and-cash offer for the adventure retailer.

Evolution not revolution – the verdict on Myer's $600m plan

There was never any doubt that new CEO, Richard Umbers, a  former British Army officer, was going to have to clear the decks.

Sue Mitchell   Myer shareholders have backed the retailer's $600 million turnaround plan by snapping up shares in a $221 million equity raising.

7-Eleven puts more than 100 stores on life support

7-Eleven has been rocked by revelations of widespread wage fraud.

Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckert   The scandal ridden 7-Eleven convenience store chain has thrown a new bone to franchisees as the crisis deepens over systemic wage abuse, a cover up and a flawed business model.

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Myer is measuring up the risk

Elizabeth Knight.

Elizabeth Knight   If there is one word that best sums up the response from investors to the unveiling of Myer's transformation it would be - risk.

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Myer unleashes fashion brand attack in $600 million turnaround plan

Myer reported a 70 per cent drop in statutory profit last year.

Patrick Hatch   Myer will target fashion-conscious women with the brands they desire, improve its change rooms and ramp-up digital sales in a $600 million ploy to turn the company's fortunes around.

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Myer splashes $600m cash to secure future

New Myer chief executive Richard Umbers unveiled a $600 million turnaround plan on Tuesday.

Sue Mitchell   Myer is on a collision course with David Jones after unveiling a $600 million turnaround plan that aims to reverse a 20-year slide in sales by chasing 'high value' customers and unwinding strategies put in place over the last few years.

Treasury Wine CEO paid $4.5m in 2015

Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Mike Clarke collected a handsome pay packet totalling $4.45 million in 2014-15 as the company's performance improved markedly.

Simon Evans   Treasury Wine Estates chief Mike Clarke has collected a handsome pay packet of $4.45 million in his first full year at the helm.

Hungry Jack's caught pitching to kids

Hungry Jack's breached a children's food advertising code the highest number of times in 2014.

Esther Han   Hungry Jack's breached a children's food advertising code nearly three times more than the previous year, prompting public health advocates to slam the code as ineffective.

Myer buys into Topshop in $600m revival plan

Myer will spend $600 million over five years to revitalise its stores.

Patrick Hatch   Myer has bought a quarter of Topshop's Australian arm and will introduce the fast-fashion brand to its shop floor as part of a $600 million plan to revive its fortunes.

Woolies falls amid price war fears

Woolworths' profits are expected to fall more than 10 per cent this year as the retailer cuts prices to win back customers.

Sue Mitchell   As Woolworths' new chairman prepares to take the reins, shares in Australia's largest retailer have fallen 4 per cent amid growing risk of a price war.

7-Eleven: panics, launches buyout in wake of wage abuse scandal

7-Eleven announced it would be setting an up independent panel to review of wage abuse in its stores.

Adele Ferguson, Sarah Danckert, Klaus Toft   A panicking 7-Eleven Australia will spend millions of dollars paying store holders to leave their businesses as it tries to head off a deepening crisis over worker exploitation and wage fraud.

7-Eleven: Head office is not fooling anyone

Adele Ferguson - dinkus - thumbnail - dink

Adele Ferguson   7-Eleven head office's shock act of offering to help franchisees shouldn't fool anybody.

Class action looms for 7-Eleven over wage scandal

Embattled 7-Eleven Australia has announced a store buy-back for disgruntled franchisees.

Adele Ferguson, Sarah Danckert, Klaus Toft   7-Eleven Australia and its American parent faces a class action brought on behalf of underpaid workers and disgruntled franchisees.

Under fire 7-Eleven launches review of pay practices

7-Eleven has been rocked by revelations of widespread wage fraud.

Adele Ferguson, Sarah Danckert, Patrick Hatch   7-Eleven Australia will set up an independent panel to review allegations of underpayment of staff by franchisees as well as franchise agreement terms. 

7-Eleven: Allan Fels says model dooms franchisees and workers

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25:  A general view of an employee working behind the counter serving customers at the 7-Eleven store in South Yarra on August 25, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Arsineh Houspian/Fairfax Media)

Adele Ferguson, Sarah Danckert, Klaus Toft   7-Eleven Australia has come in for heavy criticism from former consumer watchdog Allan Fels and the Fair Work Ombudsman office after revelations of systemic exploitation of workers at the company's stores.

7-Eleven stores in strife

Many 7-11 stores would either lose money or barely break even if the correct wages were paid.

Adele Ferguson, Sarah Danckert, Klaus Toft   Internal documents shows the financial plight of hundreds of 7-Eleven stores around Australia