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2148 Inside Retail Weekly

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T H I S I S S U E : Big W survived the clearing of the decks at Woolworths but still has an uncertain future with sales and earnings in serious decline. Despite approaches from potential buyers for the 186-store Big W chain, Woolworths decided last year to persevere with business and to map out a turnaround plan that would see it return to growth or, at least, stabilise and exact a higher price if it was to be divested. The first half results for the 2017 financial year provided little assurance to investors who have seen a parade of managing directors come and go as sales and earnings plummeted. Big W has posted a fall in sales in 17 of the past 18 quarters covering five financial years. Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci was happy to talk about the progress of the Woolies turnaround, which has received endorsements in recent weeks from suppliers who are bullish about the business and somewhat less enthusiastic about arch rival Coles. However, Banducci had little to say about the progress of Big W as sales declined year on year by 6.3 per cent, a trend continued in the latest results for the third quarter ended 2 April. Banducci will need to have a lot more to say about the troubled discount department store business when the full financial year results are released on 23 August. At the half year, Banducci conceded that Big W had made disappointing progress in the first half, although seasonal inventory RRP $14.95 continued on page 6 I S S U E 2 1 4 8 A big turnaround for Big W? BY JARED DICKSON INSIDE RETAIL WEEKLY NEWS: Retailers look below for new opportunities Creative retailers are finding new ways to cut rental costs. p4 FEATURE: Retailers tap into home cooks Meal kit companies are on the rise, catering to the hungry, time- poor customer. p16 NEWS: Metcash to work with Amazon? Online giant may turn to Metcash for distri- bution and logistics services in the future. p2 OPINION: Let there be light Where will skyrocket- ing energy prices leave customers and retailers? p5 FROM THE SOURCE: T2 Tea CEO Nicky Sparshott on international expan- sion and how to build a cult brand. p8 FEATURE: The great wave of discount retail Asian brand Miniso is set to open stores in Australia at breakneck speed this year. p14 News and views on the world of retail since 1972 12 JULY 2017 V I S I T : I N S I D E R E T A I L . C O M . A U ›

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