RetailBiz Round Up for Monday 17 February 2014 – with Patrick Avenell
oday's ASX results are here

Following on from Friday’s OP/ED by Nalini Kara from Salmat on the new Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), Aaron Greenman from IT consultancy Protiviti has chipped in his thoughts on the matter.

“For the first time under Australian information privacy law, organisations have an express obligation to take positive steps to adopt practices and systems to protect personal data in accordance with the APPs,” he said.

“Organisations will be saddled with a raft of new responsibilities including ensuring they have processes to deal with privacy complaints, making sure they are accountable for personal information disclosed to overseas parties, establishing security measures to prevent information breaches, and many more.”

Greenman provided 10 tips for retailers looking to be more APP ready:

1. Identify the classes of personal information collected and held.  Examples include: contact details, employment history, educational qualifications, racial or ethnic origin, Tax File Numbers, health information.

2. Identify how such information is collected, held, used and disclosed, and the purposes for which it is collected and used.

3. Identify the scope of any cross-border disclosures including where possible, the countries where recipients are likely to be located.

4. Review and update procedures and policies for managing the privacy risks at each stage of the lifecycle of this information, including at the time of collection, use, disclosure, storage and destruction.

5. Implement security systems for protecting the information from misuse, interference, loss and unauthorised disclosure, such as IT systems, internal access controls and audit trails.

6. Implement procedures for identifying and reporting privacy breaches and for receiving and addressing complaints.

7. Implement access and correction procedures.

8. Introduce procedures to give individuals the option of not identifying themselves or of using a pseudonym.

9. Establish a process to conduct a privacy impact assessment for any new projects where personal information will be handled.

10. Establish governance mechanisms to ensure ongoing compliance with the APPs such as appointing designated privacy officers and regular reporting to the board and management.

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Retailers wanting to learn more about how convergent technologies, specifically mobile tech, are being courted to attended breakfast seminars on the East Coast being hosted by the Australian Centre for Retail Studies.

For only $179 per person, you can hear Dr Sean Sands explain how, “With mobile, social and internet commerce dominant in today’s retail landscape, bricks and mortar stores must focus on integrating online and store operations to make customers’ experiences more interesting and enjoyable”.

“With customer engagement the top priority, mobile is seen as the glue in the consumer-retailer relationship,” said Dr Sands.

“In the US, research suggests up to 20 per cent of ecommerce sales for retailers are now happening on smartphones and tablets, there is no doubt that in Australia mobile has become a key area of investment for 2014.”

The breakfasts are being held in Melbourne (20 February 2014), Sydney (24 February) and Brisbane (25 February).

The Myer/DJs merger story has dragged on to a 19th day! Roy Morgan Research has revealed that Myer attracted 5.8 million customers (aged 14 and up) during 2013, significantly more than David Jones’ 3.4 million. Two-and-a-half million customers (2.5 million) shopped at both department stores during 2013.

On the flipside of this, an average spend at David Jones is $195, 18 per cent more than the $165 average spend at Myer.

All this leads to analyst Warren Reid, group account manager at Roy Morgan, to express scepticism as to whether merger would be that beneficial to either or both publicly listed companies.

"While a merger between Myer and David Jones may result in efficiency gains such as store rationalisation, logistical benefits, increased buying power and even savings in advertising budget, the question remains as to whether customer numbers and average spend can be grown,” he said.

“A merger may provide an opportunity for David Jones to grow its customer profile among the younger and more frequent shoppers that Myer tends to attract. Currently, David Jones appeals to more mature, affluent shoppers who buy more expensive products — hence their higher spend at the store in an average four-week period.”

Meanwhile, David Jones announced today it has secured an exclusive department store agreement to merchandise Lorna Jane clothing.

Cash Converters International Limited today reported revenues of $155.8 million, up 15.5 per cent, for the six months to 31 December 2013. Net profit for this period was $9.8 million, a decline of 46.4 per cent from the previous corresponding half year.

“Whilst the result is disappointing, it was pleasing that the second quarter EBITDA result was up on the first quarter,” the company said. “This upward trend should continue in the second half following a record breaking December lending performance in Australia for both the personal loans and cash advance products.”

Pacific Brands has responded to an ASX Price Query saying they are not aware of any information that could explain that company jumping from 64 cents on 3 February 2014 to 74.5 cents on Friday 14 February 2014.

Costco is ramping up promotion for its first Queensland warehouse. “Construction is well underway with the roof and walls completed and the retail concrete slab almost complete,” the company wrote in an email to consumers who had registered their interest in the new store. “The team is now working on the fuel station, tyre centre and refrigeration, to be followed by the Costco Fresh lines.”

Image of the Day

Creative Instore Solutions (CIS) have unveiled a new pop-up kiosk for computer company HP within the hallowed halls of Westfield Bondi Junction.

Recent years have seen consumer electronics companies have been favour kiosks ahead of standalone stores due to their cheaper set-up and ongoing costs, high visibility and ease of replacing stock on show. Westfield Bondi Junction is already home to an Acer kiosk, while Sony has kiosks at Chatswood and Parramatta, Nespresso conducts seasonal kiosk executions based on its product release cycles.

The HP stall, which is being marketed as a ‘POP-up Showroom’, featured blue LED lighting and white furnishings, which really does draw people’s attention to the products on display.

“The inclusion of light and space encourages shopper traffic engagement and a kids station ensures consumers of all ages enjoy the shopping experience,” CIS says.

“Through ingenuity, the design team overcame challenges by ensuring display benches were kept to an inviting height without compromising the security of the product units.

“The natural light present on the top floor retail space posed screen glare concerns that would have impacted product display use if it had not been masterfully removed with specialised sunscreen guards that ultimately enhanced the overall design.”

Quote of the Day

"Full to the brim!" – the folks at Dick Smith joined the North Queensland Cowboys as big winners from the inaugural Auckland Nines: