How to Use Data to Unleash your Retail Superpowers

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Big Data is yet another trendy term bandied about the tech world, but does it really hold the key to profound retail success?

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Didn’t we tell you?

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Only a few weeks ago, our Marketing Manager, Justin Cohen wrote an article published on Inside Retail titled ‘Containing the Amazon Offensive. The piece revealed the true nature of Amazon and outlined the strategy local retailers can use to fortify their businesses against the e-commerce powerhouse.

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Sales Down, New Age Retail Up

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It’s no secret that many Australian retailers are under pressure. In recent years, more than 20 have cracked with a few subsequently disappearing. Poignantly, Australian retail sales fell again in February, the second decline within a three month period.

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The Grave Sin of Omission

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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.

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Coles relaunching BI-LO?

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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.[1]

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.

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The Elusive Root of Success

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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.

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True leadership is not politically correct

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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.

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The Forgotten People of the Election Campaign

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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.

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