Beyond Insanity

0622_Walmart_Blog_1100x600

Pressure can make people, and retailers, do strange things.

Take for example Walmart in the US. This immensely successful retail giant was feeling some heat from competitors in the online side of the retail market last year. Obviously, retail is a sector of the economy that Walmart is accustomed to dominating, so the business couldn’t sit idle and let revenue slide.

continue reading

Independent supermarkets: Another nail in the coffin

0607_Independent Supermarkets_Blog_1100x600

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.

continue reading

Low interest rates & structural sclerosis

0502_Structural sclerosis_Blog_1100x600

Most of us have an interest in interest rates, one way or the other.

For example, the current record low rates, negative in some countries, mean that those with mortgages and other loans rejoice while those who live off their investments don’t fare as well.

Consequently, one question looms: when will interest rates rise, and by how much?

continue reading

Numerical Fata Morgana

0414_Mirage_Blog_1100x600

Many years ago an article was published in the UK lamenting the dismal state of primary education in Great Britain. The key premise of the article: half of the students had below average reading skills.

Apparently the article was promoted as highlighting a serious problem, conveniently ignoring an important fact in favour of selling more newspapers – in any typical statistical sample, the number of values below and above average will be similar.

continue reading

Check Your Sources

0411_Check your Sources_Blog_1100x600

When I studied engineering, one of the most embarrassing mistakes an aspiring engineer could make was to derive a dimension from the wrong ‘base’.

continue reading

Higher GST: an early warning for retailers

0301_GST_Blog_1100x600

It appears inevitable that sooner or later the GST rate in Australia will increase, despite the current disjointed and highly politicised tax debate.

When this happens, who will be hit the hardest? Which social-economic group will lose the most when the GST rate gets hiked to 15 per cent?

continue reading

The darkest place is under the candlestick

Malls_Blog_1100x600

For years now, industry experts and the media have debated the percentage of retail turnover that will ultimately end up online.

The growth of internet sales continues to exceed that of brick and mortar sales. Today, retailers derive somewhere between 1 and 5 per cent of their turnover from online sales.

continue reading

Don’t Leave Your Post

work-on-business-blog

On 15 July 1410, the Polish-Lithuanian coalition scored a decisive victory over the Teutonic Order in the battle of Grunwald. Many factors contributed to this outcome, which set the wheels in motion for the ultimate demise of the Order.

However, one element stands out: the Polish king controlled his army from a command post on a hill. In contrast, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights fought with his troops on the battlefield – the Order gained a great and committed soldier, but they lost a general.

continue reading
1 2 3 4 5