RetailBiz Round Up for Monday 13 January 2014 – with Patrick Avenell
Today's ASX results are here

Pie and pastry brand Pie Face will be stocking around 80 On The Run (OTR) stores in South Australia with pies, sausage rolls and assorted other goods as part of a new 2-year agreement signed with OTR’s parent company Peregrine Corporation.

Pie Face joins Hungry Jack’s, Subway, Wokinabox and Brumby’s Bakeries, among others, as resident third party brands inside OTR outlets.

“Pie Face is very pleased to have an agreement with leading convenience operator, On The Run that introduces our products to South Australian consumers,” said Pie Face commercial manager Andrew Lyme. “The company has been focused on the supply chain side of business in an effort to increase production efficiencies and allow the business to become a lower cost, premium bakery supplier to our national retail network.

“These types of value add licensing and supply deals should enable the company to reach these goals sooner.  We are hopeful of announcing similar types of win/win arrangements during 2014.”

South Australian customers who develop a taste for Pie Face can take an active interest in the brand: Lyme makes it very clear that, “The deal does not preclude Pie Face from franchising or operating its core retail stores in Adelaide”.

Click here to sign up for RetailBiz's free daily newsletter

The Newsagents Association of NSW and the ACT has hit out at Australia Post trying to lock newsagents out of the parcel delivery and shipment business.

Australia Post has been providing Community Postal Agent and PostPoint agreements on 3-year deals to newsagents, allowing them to act as de facto postal offices, especially in rural, remote and underserviced areas.

Chiang Lim, CEO of the Newsagents Association, said that by trying to cut these agents off, Australia Post is reducing competition to the detriment of consumers.

"In the context of Australia's burgeoning parcel business and a possible future privatised Australia Post, these new exclusivity provisions imposed by Australia Post could simply be interpreted as blocking a significant group of small retailers as potential competitors before they even are,” Lim said.

Although Lim only represents newsagents in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, he said he expects this will also be a contentious issue in the other states and territory.

Australia Post has been contacted for comment.

Is your industry set to fly or die in 2014? IBISWorld has released a report declaring the five industry set to boom in 2014 and the five headed for doom and gloom:

Industries to Fly (growth percentage)

1. Diamond and Gemstone Mining (24 per cent)
2. Superranuation Funds (23 per cent)
3. Organic Farming (14 per cent)
4. Online Shopping (12 per cent)
5. Internet Publishing & Broadcasting (11 per cent)

Industries to Fall (decline percentage)

1. Video & DVD Hiring (-15 per cent)
2. Sugar Cane Growing (-11 per cent)
3. Mineral Exploration (-8 per cent)
4. Newspaper Publishing (-6 per cent)
5. Horse & Dog Racing (-4 per cent)

Regarding online shopping, the most directly relevant for the retail industry, IBISWorld general manager (Australia) Karen Dobie said:

“As there are no geographical boundaries; parallel imports, increased competition and global sourcing will reduce the cost of online shopping to the end user, driving its appeal. 

“Australian consumers are price conscious going into 2014 and online shopping allows them to hunt for the greatest bargains from retailers both locally and abroad.”

“More traditional retailers are beginning to join the online sphere in order to remain competitive, with their shopfronts acting as convenient locations for pick-up and returns.”

Caltex Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to the Australian market:

“Our customers are not just Australian mums and dads, tradespeople and professionals, but also commercial customers within mining, agriculture, aviation, transport, small to medium enterprises, manufacturing and the defence force sectors,” said MD and CEO Julian Segal.

“While the competitive landscape within our industry is undergoing profound structural change, our service to customers remains unshakeable and we will continue to invest.

David Jones has reached exclusive department store agreements with six designers to launch new ranges of shoes and handbags. The brands are: Ginger & Smart, Zimmerman, Camilla, Ellery, Camilla & Marc and Willow.

“Our new Australian designer handbag and swhoe ranges are priced between $250 to $599, making them very appealing to customers who want a quality designer, statement piece that is stylish, fashionable and affordable. This is definitely an untapped market and we see huge potential for growth in this area,” said group executive of merchandise Donna Player.

Quote of the Day

“It was a delightful remuneration to receive, in particular when you’re not expecting it. In this market, additional incentives count for a lot.”

Office Choice Limited chairman and dealer Ian Jones expresses joy at being one of 146 owner-operators to receive a rebate due to a strong 2013 performance, despite it being a touch retail climate. Office Choice is a Australian stationery and office supply store network.

Image of the Day

HP WallArt, such as the Manhattan ‘artwork’ seen above, gives businesses the chance to deck out their walls with custom designs. If any of our readers have one of these in their offices, we’d love to check it out!

From the network

Sydney premium appliance dealer Designer Homeware has gone into liquidation, Appliance Retailer reports, while T&L News is reporting that The Toll Group has secured the $380 million distribution of Coca-Cola Amatil products and FAD Quarterly has nine tips on how to improve cashflow.