Wesfarmers' decade-long liquor disaster

Simon Evans 11:41 AM   Wesfarmers is grappling with its own version of a "Masters disaster'', albeit on a smaller scale.

The $9.2b hit from China and Russia's luxury woes

The Devil Wears Prada? The luxury brand feted in the 2006 comedy with Meryl Streep has taken a 35 per cent hit to the perceived value of its brand.

Andrew Roberts 10:28 AM   Luxury isn't what it used to be, with the world's top brands taking a massive hit to their value thanks to Russia and China.

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10 product flops that outdo Coke Life

Slow start: Coke Life sales in Australia have come in under expectations.

Michael Koziol 10:09 PM   Things haven't started well for Coke Life. But this is far from the first underwhelming launch - in fact, most new products fail.

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Bang & Olufsen Australia sold to luxury watches group

Changing channels: Bang & Olufsen's BeoVision 10 flat-screen TV.

Simon Evans 8:31 PM   The Australasian operations of high-end European audio retailer Bang & Olufsen have been acquired by Australian business Emerald Group Investments which operates LK Boutique luxury watch and jewellery retail outlets.

Not easy being green: Coke Life launch fizzes

Consumers haven't developed a taste for the new Coke Life.

Patrick Commins 5:37 PM   Coke Life hasn't proved an instant hit with Australians in its first few weeks on the shelves.

Woolworths executives head for checkout

Since announcing plans this month to cut another 400 support jobs, Woolworths has lost at least two senior executives and another two are reportedly eyeing the exit doors.

Sue Mitchell   Woolworths is facing an exodus of senior executives as Australia's largest food retailer slashes costs and simplifies management structures in a bid to restore sales and earnings growth.

Future beef: CSIRO technologies transform cattle production and meat

The Brahman cattle of northern Australia have been the subject of work in genetics and methane gas reduction.

Esther Han   From imported dung beetles to friendship-detecting collars, Australia's beef industry is in an innovation frenzy to boost cattle welfare and the quality of what we eat.

Why a Sydney designer loves Kardashian Kids

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 19:  Fashion designer and manufacturer Bruno Schiavi poses for a portrait on May 19, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Brianne Makin/Fairfax Media)

Sue Mitchell   Sydney-born fashion designer Bruno Schiavi has big plans for his new baby, Kardashian Kids.

Oroton loses its glitter on downgrade

Oroton has scrapped its forecast of second-half earnings growth.

Carrie LaFrenz   Oroton Group's shares plunged as much as 22 per cent after the luxury handbag maker cut earnings expectations for the second time this year.

Woolies 'definitely looking cheap' despite Masters

The Masters Home Improvement chain continues to be a hurdle for Woolworths.

Jemima Whyte and Jonathan Shapiro   Some institutional investors are cautiously expressing interest in Woolworths' shares again, despite losses in its controversial Masters hardware division continuing to deepen. 

'Ronald's here to stay': McDonald's CEO fronts massive grilling


Lisa Baertlein and Ross Kerber   Facing a grilling from shareholders over McDonald's sagging fortunes, the fast food chain's new chief Steve Easterbrook agreed things have to change. But there's one thing he wouldn't budge on:

Cadbury to shed 80 jobs in Hobart

Cadbury is axing 20 per cent of its workforce at its Claremont plant.

Chocolate maker Cadbury says its decision to shed 80 jobs at its Hobart factory is about keeping the doors open long term.

Shoppers evict the home brands, except at Aldi

Discounter Aldi has won the loyalty of customers with its private label products.

Esther Han   Our love of major food chains doesn't extend to their in-house brands. Well, mostly.

Wesfarmers chooses Coles over coal

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder is spending money on Coles and Bunnings to fuel growth.

Sue Mitchell   Wesfarmers is facing its slowest earnings growth since 2010, but analysts have given a tick of approval to the conglomerate's decision to redistribute resources away from low-growth coal and industrial businesses into its retail powerhouses, Bunnings and Coles.

Masters fails to stem tide of red ink

Woolworths' home improvement  managing director Matt Tyson is tweaking Masters store formats and adding new brands and products to boost sales.

Sue Mitchell   Woolworths and its home improvement partner Lowe's Companies have injected another $45 million of equity into Masters, after losses blew out to $66 million in the March quarter, taking forecast losses for the year to more than $200 million.

Forget health food: Would you eat this burger?

Artery-clogging: The Most American Thickburger is a burger and hot dog in one.

Craig Giammona   Would you like fries in that? A US fast-food chain has started selling what is possibly the world's fattest-ever burger -- a 1080-calorie burger that it hopes appeals to Americans' patriotic spirit, along with their appetites.

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Wesfarmers ramps up pressure on Woolworths

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder says the cashed up company continues to scout for acquisitions.

Sue Mitchell   Wesfarmers plans to invest at least $2 billion into its two largest businesses, Coles and Bunnings, over the next year, intensifying pressure on arch rival Woolworths.

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TripAdvisor buys Dimmi restaurant bookings site

Dimmi chief executive Stevan Premutico hopes the TripAdvisor acquisition will expand Dimmi's market share.

Yolanda Redrup   Overseas companies are taking note of Australian digital start-ups and, according to Dimmi chief executive Stevan Premutico, they can not get enough.

Wesfarmers waiting for sustained boost in confidence

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder says it doesn't want excess capacity coming into markets.

Sue Mitchell   Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder welcomed a bounce in consumer sentiment after the budget but says there would have to a sustained improvement in spending before Australia's largest private-sector employer ramped up expansion plans.

How Woolies can win the supermarket war

Woolworths is cutting prices and improving service in stores to win back market share.

Sue Mitchell   Former Tesco CEO Terry Leahy says Woolworths may have to put customers ahead of shareholders and forgo earnings growth to win back loyalty.

Target md says he can claw sales from Myer, David Jones and specialty stores

Target is aiming for a revival without cannibalising its stablemate Kmart.

Simon Evans   Target managing director Stuart Machin is convinced he can claw away market share from Myer, David Jones and specialty retailers and not from stablemate Kmart as he strives to deliver a revival. But cannibilisation has been a constant theme for decades.

Energy drinks: Selling young on 'gaming fuel'


Hilary Stout   While energy drink makers such as Red Bull and Monster have stopped marketing to children because of the adverse health effects associated with them, the industry has found a new battle ground: Teenage fans of video games.

'Conspiracy theory': Woolworths' Masters denies deception charges

"There are no weapons of mass destruction, your Honour. The evidence will show that clearly," Woolworths barrister Philip Crutchfield said.

Sarah Danckert   Claims Woolworths and its struggling homeware chain, Masters, engaged in deception when it walked away from a property deal in the Victorian regional city of Bendigo is the stuff of conspiracy theories that would make Colin Powell proud, a court has heard.

Woolworths faces $1b hit from price cuts

Woolworths is reviewing its private label grocery strategy after admitting that consumers perceived the quality of Aldi's private label brands to be on par or better than Woolworths' Select brand and superior to its entry-level Homebrand range.

Sue Mitchell   Woolworths' plan to cut the price of private label groceries to better compete with Aldi and Coles may cost the retailer as much as $1 billion, brokers say.

Masters accused of deception in hardware chain battle

Woolworths and its Masters chain are being sued by a property development company owed by Maxi Foods founder Brendan Blake for an alleged breach of contract for the development of its new Masters store in Bendigo in 2009.

Sarah Danckert   Woolworths' struggling hardware chain Masters has been accused of deception after it walked away from a deal to build a store in Bendigo to pursue another site in the town that it knew Wesfarmers' Bunnings chain was circling.

Supermarkets on notice over grocery code of conduct

Coles and Woolworths say they are waiting to see if a voluntary code of conduct is ratified before signing up.

Sue Mitchell   Coles and Woolworths may have to answer to a grocery industry ombudsman in three years if they fail to embrace the principles of a voluntary code of conduct expected to be approved by Parliament next month.

Brisbane Times

Ikea charges $1107 for a $1.99 kitchen accessory

Kai Lynch poses for a portrait , she was buying a $1.99 kitchen from Ikea, but was charged $1107.10 for a "bargain kitchen" instead.

Cameron Atfield   A Brisbane woman has been left fuming after she bought a $1.99 kitchen roll holder from Ikea and was accidentally charged her for a $1107 kitchen instead – a mark-up of more than 55,500 per cent.

Meet the big names at Leon Kamenev's table of plenty

Based on the sale price of Menulog Group, internet entrepreneur Leon Kamenev's 55 per cent stake will reap him about $470 million.

John Stensholt   He's the shy and little-known former refugee who is about to get a $470 million payday, thanks to last week's $855 million sale of online takeaway delivery service Menulog Group to its British rival, Just Eat.

Metcash purrs on auto parts float hopes

Autobarn Lake Haven franchisee, Alex Theuma.

Madeleine Heffernan   Metcash's shares jumped more than 10% on news it plans to float its auto parts business.

Adairs set to bed down next phase of growth

Adairs CEO David MacLean says the retailer is well positioned to deal with rivals. The manchester and homeares company is in advanced stages of an IPO.

Carrie LaFrenz   Adairs is in a fast stage of growth in a bid to keep pace with demand for fast fashion in the home.