Freshly Squeezed: 05.09.19

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 05 Sep 2019

The National Retail Association is fighting a Christmas Eve part-day public holiday and Myer’s FY19 results have been shared. Get a healthy dose of news as we uncover the day’s top stories in e-commerce and retail.

Myer’s Online Sales Rise

Myer has released its yearly sales results. Its EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) is up 7.4 per cent, leaving it at $160.1 million. However, its total sales are down 3.5 per cent to $1,991.8 million, with comparable-store sales down 1.3 per cent. “This result demonstrates our focus on profitable sales, a disciplined management of costs and cash, as well as deleveraging the business,” explained John King, Myer’s CEO and Managing Director. “In the first year of the Customer First Plan, we have progressed a number of strategic initiatives, but recognise there is much more to be done to transform this business in the interests of customers and shareholders.” Read more about the results here.

DoorDash Enters Melbourne

Food delivery service, DoorDash, has arrived in Australia. The $18.6 billion company, founded in San Fransisco, currently services food delivery to the USA and Canada. Melbourne is the first location that the service has chosen to travel to outside the North American market. “We are excited Australia is our first international expansion outside of North America,” explained Thomas Stephens, the General Manager of DoorDash Australia. “We dove deep into the Australian market and quickly realised two things — restaurants want more from their delivery partners, and not all Melburnians have access to the selection that they should expect.”

NRA Fights Against Qld’s Christmas Eve Part-Day Public Holiday Plans

The National Retail Association has partnered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ), Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) and the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) to prevent the proposal of Christmas Eve part-day public holiday. “A Christmas Eve public holiday from 6 pm onwards was last considered in the comprehensive review of Queensland trading hours conducted by former Labor State Minister Mr John Mickel. The review rejected the proposal, noting the financial impact on industry,” explained the NRA in a statement.

“This proposal will result in one of the following outcomes, none of which are desirable to either business owners or the workers they employ: small business passing on the extra costs to consumers via higher prices; operators closing their doors for trade during the affected hours; or owners sending staff home and working the public holiday hours themselves with no extra pay. Those who will be hurt most by this are not large multi-nationals, but mum-and-dad small businesses who work ridiculous hours just to make ends meet. Many of these outlets also rely on the Christmas trade period to support their operation during more lean times of the year. This proposed public holiday is blindly following the mistakes made in other states and will kill off one of Queensland’s best times to celebrate with their community. No business can suddenly afford to increase costs at this time, so hotels and tourism operators will either close or reduce staff hours.”

“Massive decline in trade due to public holidays have already happened for the AFL Grand Final Parade in Melbourne and Christmas Eve in South Australia. It is inconceivable that Labor would ignore the pleas of regional Queenslanders by increasing the price of going to the hotel, or having this vital part of their community shut. Hours worked in the state economy are down 200,000 year to date and business confidence levels reflect both poor hiring intentions as well as a business investment. The Christmas Eve proposal also runs counter to the voice of regional Queensland businesses who are telling us they simply cannot afford the government’s $137 million policy. Queensland currently ranks sixth behind Tasmania for employment and overall economic activity and measures such as this will not help turn that worrying fact around. We strongly urge the State Government to reconsider this move and the detrimental costs it will have on Queensland businesses,” the statement concluded.

Catch up on yesterday’s Freshly Squeezed news here.

Like this story? Sign-up for the free Pulse Weekly Newsletter for more essential online retail content.