Posts Tagged ‘herringbone’

Chasing up some retail tales

March 6, 2009

The last couple of days has seen topics of a few previous International BS Blog posts back in the news. In reverse order of when we last spoke about them:

coles-logo1. The spotlight has been turned on supermarket bargaining power again. Instead of Belgian chain Delhaize, this time its Aussie giant Coles who is squeezing its long-suffering suppliers even more:

“Buyers from Coles have been contacting suppliers to tell them of a 4 per cent increase in trading terms, the percentage of the cost of each item the supplier must pay back to the retailer. For many suppliers, this figure was in the mid-teens but it is being pushed closer to 20 per cent.”

Not a huge surprise in a virtual duopoly, particularly when Coles is under so much more pressure to economise than Woolworths.

logo-vanlaack2. Australian high-end menswear fashion house, Herringbone has been rescued by a German suitor. As we noted back in December, it is a lot harder to target this segment when incomes are under pressure. van Laack presumably scored these guys at a bargain, another instance of the scope to rationalise (and internationalise) in the current economic crisis.

3. And finally a firm we’ve lauded as the prime mover in the electronics hardware and software retailing pace, JB Hi-Fi has made some waves this week, enjb-hi-fitering both the ASX100 (i.e. the largest 100 listed firms in Australia by capitalisation) and Australia’s top 20 most valuable brands, both for the first time. Being a highly efficient, low-cost producer in the current climate seems a winning strategy indeed.


Couture carnage continues

January 19, 2009

Now that the Aussie business scene is back in full-swing post-Xmas, we are starting to see more of the fall-out from the current economic downturn.

Following on from the closure of corporate menswear boutique Herringbone in December, it now looks like a few more fashion retailers are on the skids:

“This week Figgins Holdings, owner of 120 footwear stores nationally, said it would shut all four of its Evelyn Miles boutiques and its 43 Shoobiz stores. Already the luxury Australian shirting company Herringbone has collapsed, a Supre store in the city has closed and the cult denim label Ksubi has been reported to owe $8 million.”

Now, this may well reflect the shifting buying behaviour of cash-trapped consumer (i.e. income elasticity), or it may simply reflect a great media awareness of business failures. Irrespective, it does represent a change to the competitive landscape.

This may mean new competitive spaces have opened up in the Australian fashion retail scene. Perhaps we might finally see a few more international players enter the market (a Zara or H&M?).

More belt-tightening

December 11, 2008

Answering one’s own question is possibly a sign of madness, but I have found a response to my question about what other products are hurting because of income elasticity.

herringbone-shirtAustralian retailer of snazzy suits, shorts and ties Herringbone has collapsed in the past week. It seems fine clothing for merchant bankers, lawyers and the like is not quite as big a market as it was 12 months ago. Like champagne, consumers apparently find it very hard to justify such luxury as their income falls.

The search for further examples continues.