RetailBiz Round Up for Monday 10 February 2014 – with Patrick Avenell
oday's ASX result are here

Make Your House A Home, an online home renovation and design store with a showroom in Bendigo, Victoria, has won a Best Of award from US based interior design website Houzz.

Houzz is a global community of DIYers, designers and homewares suppliers that matches people renovating their homes with service providers. The website claims to have more than 16 million monthly users, who review and vote on these providers, forming the basis of these Best Of awards.

“We are really pleased to accept this award,” said Make Your House A Home owner Lisa Smith. “It’s a fantastic acknowledgement of the talented interior designers we have here at Make Your House A Home. In 2012 and 2013 we won the Australian Furniture Retailer of the Year award and now to win this in 2014 – we’re absolutely stoked!”

Smith and her husband Norm started Make Your House A Home in 2005 as an interior design business before expanding into online retail and then bricks and mortar retail. This award is recognition of the customer satisfaction they have generated from their visionary work, according to Houzz vice president of community Liza Hausman.

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Having the right staff and empowering them with the right tools to get the job done is critical for bricks and mortar retailers, according to Patrick Viney from JDA Software APAC. Viney shared his expert opinion in a recent op/ed, which starts:

“Fast-evolving digital technologies, including mobile devices, social networks, apps and other forms of e-commerce, have forever changed how consumers shop. It is not uncommon today to find a consumer in a store examining a product while using a smartphone or tablet to scan barcodes to compare prices, check product reviews online, or get advice from their social networks. Much of this new in-store digital activity has been driven by young adults, a generation known for its tech-savvy and inherently social behaviour.”

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Small businesses can save up to 80 per cent ontheir power bills by switching to LED lights, according to Ben Wright from CherryLED. “With cash-flow being a critical area for most SMEs, a saving like that can make a huge difference,” he said.

Richard Rossiter, LJ Hooker licensee in Wagga Wagga, is one such small business benefiting. ““We are trying to get our [power] costs down and I had a sense LED lights could play a major role,” he said.

The ACCC has moved to shut down speculation that it would have rubberstamped a David Jones/Myer merger:

“The ACCC is aware of recent media reports which suggest that the ACCC has indicated that it would be unlikely to object to a merger between Myer and David Jones,” the Commission said in a statement. 

“To ensure there is no confusion about the position of the ACCC on this issue, the ACCC wishes to make clear that it has formed no such view and it has provided no such indication, either formally or informally, to Myer or any other person.

“Should Myer or David Jones decide to pursue a merger the ACCC will then conduct a very thorough review, in accordance with its published guidelines, that would explore a range of potential competition issues.”

This statement comes as The Australian Financial Review today reports that DJs chairman Peter Mason is set to “purge” the department store’s board of directors Leigh Clapham and Steve Vamos. The Fin reports that these two non-executive directors purchased David Jones shares the day after the company received Myer’s secret merger offer.

Meanwhile, David Jones was on the PR trail today, announcing that it will be offering same day delivery for Valentine’s Day and that it is now accepting American Express points at its online store.

Marketing agencies Citrus and Directivity have today revealed the Top 10 Most Recommended Loyalty Programs, based on research conducted by First Point Research and Consulting of more than 1,000 consumers:

1. Coles Flybuys
2. Woolworths Everyday Rewards
3. Qantas Frequent Flyer
4. Velocity
5. Myer one
6. Commonwealth Bank
7. Priceline
8. Accor
9. Amex
10. IGA

Other findings revealed by this survey include 65 per cent of respondents saying they would like family members to inherit their loyalty points when they die and 57 per cent preferring an actual loyalty card over an app.

Cbus Property has added two new tenants to 140, its flagship Perth CBD shopping centre, with the integration of German restaurant Brotzeit and chocolatier Koko Black. The centre is currently undergoing a multi-million redevelopment and is now nearly half-full of tenants.

“140 is being transformed into a precinct for food lovers, alive with bars, restaurants and shops connected by original laneways,” said Cbus Property asset manager Chris Hardy said. “These newest additions to the tenancy mix will make 140 a destination where food, art and retail meet.

“We are finding there has been a resurgence in interest from potential tenants and we are very optimistic about signing on more food and retail outlets to accompany the exciting choice which is already at 140.”

Go Sushi is on a new franchisee drive, promoting it 6 per cent growth rate since December 2012. "Hitting our first $1 million month is a big milestone for us and it's a testament the group and the franchise partners who have worked so hard to help achieve this figure" said CEO Nicola Mills. The next two franchisees are opening in Shepparton (Victoria) and Campbelltown (New South Wales).

Quote of the Day

“Our consumer research showed that Strawberry, Raspberry and Blackcurrant are three of the most popular flavours, and we wanted to provide a product that met the demand. After a very successful launch of the Mentos Strawberry roll, where the product experienced a 26.3 per cent growth, we expect the launch of a combination roll will be popular.”

Mentos brand builder Paddy Bryans gets very serious when discussing sales of chewy dragée novelty packs.

Image of the Day

COS (Collection of Style) is coming to Australia! The first store will open on Elizabeth Stree, in Melbourne, according to our friends at PopSugar, who seem to be in the know.

“We are all looking forward to opening COS in Australia. Melbourne is a vibrant, cultural and exciting city which we feel will be the ideal setting for our first store," said Marie Honda from COS.