RetailBiz Round Up for Friday 7 February 2014 – with Patrick Avenell
oday's ASX Results are here

It’s been 10 years since the Brisbane Domestic Airport replaced a juice bar with an Eagle Boys Express Store, the first of 43 small-format pizza bars for the Australian company.

Eagle Boys celebrated this milestone by sending out a media release today promoting Express franchises.

“People are time-poor. They are often in transit and they are looking for variety and quality in aspeedy manner, from a brand they can trust,” said brand manager Robin Heslehurst.

“To have a product from Eagle Boys in just three minutes is convenient and satisfying, and for those people on the go, it’s highly appreciated.”

And here is a recent franchisee, IGA Portside Wharf owner Chris DeAraugo, explaining why he installed a franchise into his existing supermarket:

“Having Eagle Boys Express is appealing to customers because of the brand awareness,” he said. “Customers see the products on the menu board complete with kilojoule intake, and enjoy the hot, fresh food throughout the day. At first customers were surprised that we had this offering, but now they look for it and really enjoy it.”

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The GPT Group has reported that over 3 million people visited the Melbourne Central retail complex during the two weeks of the Australian Open, during which the shopping centre’s roof was transformed into a tennis court in partnership with resident retailer Nike.

“The event space featured an interactive three-quarter sized Nike tennis court, gourmet street food vendors — Little Champs, Corn Boss and Handmade Ice Pops — and a space for consumers to sit back and enjoy the live broadcast of the Australian Open on the Seven Network,” GPT Group said. 

“The motivation behind the initiative was to create anticipation and excitement around one of Melbourne’s premier sporting events and encourage CBD workers, tourists and Melbourne locals to visit the never-before-seen location within the entertainment precinct of Melbourne Central.”

GPT Group said the company’s social media activity was up 386 per cent during the two weeks of this promotion.

The Coffee Club is targeting 56 new franchises from the 400-plus applications received over the past year as it aggressively expands its footprint into new regions, especially Victoria and Western Australia.

“The Coffee Club model is one that welcomes innovation and potential franchisees want to be part of that,” said general manager Arif Khan. “We attract business owners that share our love for coffee and share our aim to provide a welcoming, enjoyable and contemporary cafe experience.”

Towards the end of 2013, The Coffee Club undertook a brand refresh, with the goal being to transform into a more premium café and dining experience.

"We introduced some exciting elements such as a new menu and a new look store design, to reinvigorate our appeal to consumers.  By listening to our customer and instilling the feedback we received, we are now offering them an enhanced experience in store.”

Myer has appointed two new non-executive directors: Robert (Bob) Thorn and Ian Cornell. “Given the opportunities and the challenges facing our business in the global changing environment, it is important that the structure and capabilities of the board are regularly refreshed.”

German retailer ALDI is building a 30,000 square metre, $70 million warehouse and distribution centre in Regency Park, South Australia, to service an expected 50-strong network of stores upon completion in 2015.

“We are eager to bring the ALDI difference to new markets like South Australia.  Having investigated the future store network and benefits of the location in varying degrees, the Regency Park site presented as the best fit for our needs,” said ALDI MD South Australia, Viktor Jakupec.

The new site is expected to have 150 employees, the company said.

Retail turnover last year increased by more than $8.1 billion, a rise of 3.2 per cent, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

“Retailers are encouraged by today’s result and it has put the sector in good stead to record a similar result (or better) in the year ahead,” said Margie Osmond from the Australian National Retailers Association.

“It was a case of ‘food, glorious food’ in December with the category’s year-on-year result delivering its best result in five years. While cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services were also a standout performer with year-on-year growth increasing 10 per cent — the best result since September 2010.”

During December 2013, retail turnover rose 0.5 per cent, with growth in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Retail turnover was down, however, in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

David Jones has lodged a development submission with the Sydney City Council in what could be the first step to convert some or all of its flagship Sydney Men’s Store into residential apartments.

“We are committed to ensuring we unlock the maximum value of all of our properties for the benefit of our shareholders,” said CEO and MD Paul Zahra.

Quote of the Day

"I applaud this morning's news that CVS Caremark has decided to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores, and begin a national campaign to help millions of Americans quit smoking instead.”

-US President and ex-smoker Barack Obama on the voluntary decision by CVS to cease selling cigarettes in 7,000-plus stores America-wide, forgoing estimated revenues of $260,000 per store per year.

Image of the Day

Melbourne Rebels rugby players visited the Slade Chemmart Pharmacy in Richmond this week to launch the new Colour for a Cause teal nail polish pack, which is being sold exclusively through the chemist chain to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Awareness.

“We are extremely proud to provide our continued support to Ovarian Cancer Australia, and are thrilled to be able to help raise funds and awareness of the cause during this important month,” said Chemmart executive director Jonathan Layton.

Video of the Day

Amercian legacy retailer Best Buy is trying to convince the kids that it is focused on the future, believe them, please: