As seen on Inside Retail.
On April 24 2017, Kathrin Bain, a lecturer at the School of Taxation and Business Law at UNSW, wrote an article with a critical stance on the government’s plan to apply GST on overseas online purchases commencing July 1 2017. Kathrin’s argument is that this would not “level the playing field” between local and international retailers anyway.
Imagine that two people died in their sleep last night while in hospital. One patient died because his nurse didn’t inject him with his life-supporting medication. The other one passed away because his nurse injected him with the wrong drug.
In his song Trouble Man, Marvin Gaye sings about taxes, death, and trouble.
Today, the chorus of media commentators, politicians, economists and the Reserve Bank sing a similar tune – one about interest rates, sluggish economic growth, and the deficit.
In August 2016, The Age published an article outlining yet another twist in Coles’ strategy. The intention, this time, is to reduce the supermarket’s product range by 15%, to “drive the efficiency of the business to fund grocery price cuts and safeguard its market share.”
The notion of reducing the merchandise offer to protect market share sounds strange. But, the strategy problem at Coles runs deeper than that. Let me take you on a short trip down memory lane.
Many years ago I decided to undertake a small Artificial Intelligence project – a program to predict TattsLotto numbers.
I began by loading my ‘big data’ (a few years of historical lotto results) and then developed quite a smart algorithm based on visual draw patterns. Once up and running, I was pleased to see that my trials showed that the program was able to predict lotto results with high accuracy.
Have you noticed that struggling retail businesses tend to change their senior executives frequently?
Undoubtedly, every new appointment is made with the hope of finding a leader capable of turning the ship around. If such a person is found and takes the helm, the business is gradually transformed, and its results begin to improve.
Despite the retail industry’s significant contribution to the Australian economy and its dire need for relief from misguided policy, it is constantly ignored by all sides of politics.
Read the full column on Inside Retail, Australia’s leading retail trade publication.
On 31 May 2016, The Australian Financial Review wrote about Aldi’s rapid expansion in Australia. Aldi is now the most profitable supermarket retailer in Australia, with EBIT at 6% against 4.6% reported by Coles, and 5.4 reported by Woolworths.