RetailBiz Round Up for Friday 14 February 2014 – with Andrew Jackson
Today's ASX Results are here

Australian business to be hit by new privacy laws from mid-March
(OP/ED by Nalini Kara)

As of 12 March 2014, Australian businesses will be obliged to adhere to 13 New Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). The principles are new to legislations, but the concepts are not new to our Australian businesses. Many of the principles cover procedures that businesses have been following as best-practice for many years. However, from March onwards, these procedures will be enforceable by law.

The APPs will only impact those organisations with an annual turnover of $3m and over, and who collect personal information; defined as “information or an opinion about an identifiable individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable”.

The legislation will introduce 13 new APPs which focus on how businesses collect, store and use data and personal information. With many businesses focusing their marketing on targeting their customers, data and its management plays an integral role in delivering these business objectives.

With Big Data — that is, the large volumes of information within organisations — data management is intrinsic to any business processes, and many companies have been working to uphold these best-practices. The legislation formalises this and will compel businesses to review their data strategies from end to end ensuring that information collected is relevant and they know exactly where and how it is going to be used.  

To adhere to the APPs, the must dos are:

•         Make consumers, customers or prospects aware that their personal information is being collected at the point of collection via a notification statement stating why their information is being collected, what it will be used for and a link to the current Privacy Statement

•         When collecting data, provide individuals with the option to be anonymous unless it is impractical, for example, for delivery purposes, legal requirements, et cetera.

•         Only collect what is necessary and what relates to the business function.

•         It’s okay to use personal information for direct marketing as long as it includes a simple opt-out process.

•         Include a cross border disclosure statement if any of the information is viewed overseas by listing the countries involved.

The important don’ts to take from the new APPs are:

•         Don’t keep information you didn’t ask for and destroy information you didn’t ‘solicit’.

•         Avoid collecting ‘sensitive’ information, for example ethnicity, religion, health et cetera, as consent is required to collect these details and this will make it very messy.

It is important to note that businesses not complying with these new laws could be at risk of fines up to $1.7m fines for a privacy breach by a company and $340,000 for individuals.

Nalini Kara is the product director for data services at Salmat.

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The Charter Hall Retail Real Estate Investment Trust today announced its results for the half year to 31 December 2013, and the results so far have been strong.

“We have had an active start to the 2014 financial year, completing two centre redevelopments, commencing three new projects and acquiring three properties.” said Charter Hall fund manager, Scott Dundas, “This activity has brought our Australian assets under management to $1.9 billion, [up 16.1 per cent since june 2013], and has contributed to our strong result, which is in line with guidance.”

The investment trust, managed by Charter Hall Group, acquired Secret Harbour Shopping Centre in WA, Southgate Plaza in South Australia and Rosebud Plaza in Victoria during the first half of financial year 2014, and also reports a statutory profit of $20.6 million.

Performance of Charter Hall Retail REIT’s Australian portfolio was strong, listing an occupancy of 98.2 per cent while Australian property valuations increased by $39.9 million (1.9 per cent), with cap rates compressing by 29 basis points over the period. 

On the international stage, the REIT’s decision to reweight their assets to Australia has been largely completed after finalising the sale of their Polish Portfolio for €174.5 million in October 2013 and their remaining US properties for US$25.5 million.

Charter Hall Group is one of Australia’s leading fully integrated property groups, and is the parent company to the Charter Hall Retail REIT branch: a real estate investment trust whose portfolio consists of Australian supermarkets in neighbourhood and sub-regional shopping centres. 

Australia’s supply chain and labour market is set for a major crisis, according to The Australian columnist and social commentator Bernard Salt. As a generation of Baby Boomers begin to age and retire from the workforce Australia will fall into a labour crisis, says Salt, as there are fewer and fewer Gen Y’s who are willing to replace them. “For two generations young people have entered the workforce in greater numbers than those who have retired. This continual supply was an advantage to labour-dependent businesses.However, during the 2010s a game-changing shift occurred. In a break with the past, more baby boomers exited the workforce than Gen Ys entered.”

“The result is a skills and labour shortage,” said Salt. 

Though the clearest answer to this problem may be an increase in automation, Salt explains that the same result can also be gained by increasing the immigration intake of skilled labourers. 

Salt will be speaking at a pair of free breakfast seminars in both Sydney and Melbourne in late March. For those wanting more details, those who want to attend, or simply those that want a free breakfast, follow the link ( to register your attenance. 

Happy Money-Printing Day, Florists! As Valentines Day draws to a close, Australian florists are winding down from what is most certainly one of the biggest days of the year for the industry. CEO of Sydney Markets, Brad Latham, said that for those budding and blooming botanists at the Markets, today is the second most profitable 24 hours of the year, only surpassed by Mothers Day. “Our growers tell us that the demand for flowers on this special day can double, even triple that of a regular day with only mother’s day surpassing it in volume.”

While roses will more than likely have been today’s best seller, for those of us that have put off buying our significant other a special something until the last minute Sydney Markets has released this handy cheat sheet to help those of us that may be florally challenged.

● Roses: Red roses are the universal way of saying “I love you” and are a symbol of love and romance.  If you don’t want to go down the traditional route this Valentine’s Day, you could also buy a bouquet of pink, lavender or yellow roses.  Just remember, yellow roses are typically a sign of a platonic friendship!

● Gerberas: These cheery blooms usually symbolise beauty, innocence and purity.  With so many hues to choose from, gerbera daisies are sure to brighten your loved ones day.

● Tulips: If you’re looking for flowers to declare your love, but don’t want to break the bank, then tulips are an excellent choice.  These simple, yet elegant blooms will be sure to warm any heart.

● Lilies:  These classic buds are another great alternative to red roses.  While lilies usually stand for beauty and style, while pink lilies represent friendship and devotion.  Whatever colour you choose, lilies are a sophisticated choice for Valentine’s Day.

Australian cafe chain The Coffee Club is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new menu. The anniversary, which officially takes place later this year, is being commemorated with new menu offerings such as a new Middle Eastern brunch. The Coffee Club director John Lazarou said that the group is excited to be able to offer something new to customers. “The Middle Eastern inspired brunch is perfect… The combination of exotic flavours and ingredients gives our customers a new, fresh taste experience,” said Mr Lazarou.

In 2013 The Coffee Club served 40 million cups of coffee and employs more than 6,000 people Australia-wide.

Quote of the Day

“This week we'll be up until 2 or 3am getting orders out…We recruit all our teenage children – we have five between us – to help out with the wrapping and packing,”

Perfumer Howard Jarvis, owner of Melbourne-based Bud Parfums, talking about the potential hassles some small businesses face during the lead up to the most romantic day of the year.

Image of the Day

In the wake of last week’s announcement that electronics giant Sony will be selling off the PC branch of the company, which currently opperates under the VAIO brand, RetailBiz has taken a plunge into the archives to bring you a picture from history: one of the very first VAIO laptops, circa 2000. This compact offering, weighing just over a kilogram, came packaged with a 20GB hard drive, 128MB of RAM, and featured the latest in webcam and video conferencing technology: a camcorder stuck to its side. 

Video of the Day

Who would have thought hair dye could be so romantic? Hair Care brand Schwarzkopf released this touching ad for Valentine’s Day this year, encouraging viewers to celebrate those we love not just for one day each year but every single day. Tissues are advised"