Freshly Squeezed: 13.08.19

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 13 Aug 2019

The Catch Co-Founders have said goodbye and the ACCC warns customers about online shopping scams. Get a healthy dose of news as we uncover the day’s top stories in E-commerce.

Gabby and Hezi Leibovich Say Goodbye to Catch

Catch Co-Founders, Gabby and Hezi Leibovich, have stepped down from their roles at the marketplace, following the acquisition by Wesfarmers. “Today we say goodbye to our baby…,” Gabby began. “Over the last 13 years we’ve shared this journey with over 1000 workmates, they are our friends who have become my family. I can’t name you all, it would be unfair to name some of you and not others, but we thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for taking part in this incredible journey! We have made so many amazing friends over the last 13 years, friendships that we will hold on to for the rest of our lives.”

Taking the role of CEO and Managing Director of Catch is Nati Harpaz, under the guidance of Group CEO, Ian Bailey. “Catch has found the perfect home. Wesfarmers will look after our baby, taking Catch to places that we could not… I am pinching myself just thinking about this achievement,” Gabby continued.

ACCC Warns Aussie Shoppers of Scams

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a warning to Aussie shoppers, saying they should be ‘wary of ads [they] see on the internet’. It’s expected that Aussie shoppers are set to report more than $532 million worth of losses to Scamwatch in the next 12 months. According to the media release by the ACCC, the most crippling scams are associated with cryptocurrency and romance scams. “The ones we’re seeing a lot of at the moment are cryptocurrency scams,” said the ACCC Deputy Chair, Delia Rickard. “We’re seeing quite a lot of Ponzi schemes with them and they’re very sophisticated — you get to talk to a whole range of people who sound very knowledgeable, they have websites…[and] you can track your earnings on there.”

Another target that the ACCC has warned the public about dating sites, who ask for social media access from its users. These often lead to phishing scams and often focus on women over the age of 45. “If you haven’t got your privacy settings tied down… so only your friends and family people you’ve accepted as friends can see it, [scammers will] often stalk you for a while beforehand so that they can seem to, when they get a contact, share your values, share your interests [and] just make a quick match,” Ms Rickard noted. “Call and check whether or not it’s real. If someone calls you wanting remote access to your computer telling you there’s a problem with it for one reason or another – never, ever, ever give anyone remote access to your computer and keep your passwords strong. Change them regularly.”

ARA Fails to Negotiate with NRA

The National Retail Association (NRA) has been involved in a negotiation with the Australian Retailer’s Association (ARA), which has come to an end. In an attempt to create a ‘single national representative body’, the two did not come to an agreement. “Sadly, we were not able to strike a deal that would have secured a merger while also protecting the interests of NRA members. After some nine months of talks, the NRA Board reached the view that the deal as it was proposed would have put at risk everything we here at the NRA have worked so hard to achieve, including our strong membership growth, our sound financial performance and our commitment to providing outstanding services to you in areas such as training and legal,” Mark Brodie, Chairman of the NRA, explained.

The NRA listed five core reasons why the agreement fell through, some of which included a failure to reserve two positions on the board ‘specifically for major retailers’. “We believe in serving the interests of the entire retail sector as a whole, and we felt this proposal would tilt the balance in favour of one small sector of the industry. This was unacceptable to the NRA Board,” said Mr Brodie. Othe reasons included an imbalance and pressure of finances, a disparity on legal merging options and issues regarding ‘honouring commitments’. “…for now the NRA Board’s primary duty is to put the interests of our members first. You are the ones who have made this organisation what it is today, and we cannot continue any further down a path that fundamentally harms your interests. So instead, we will continue as a stand-alone organisation. The NRA’s management and staff will continue their focus on providing outstanding service and advice to you, and advocating on your behalf with governments and the Australian public.”

Amazon Australia’s Country Manager Departs from Role

Amazon Australia’s Country manager, Rocco Braeuniger, is departing from his role. This comes two years after he began his role to oversee the launch of the online marketplace, and will now take a “senior international role within Amazon”, said a spokesperson for Amazon. In his place will be Matt Furlong, who begins the role in October 2019. Mr Furlong has worked with Amazon for several years, and currently holds the role of Director and Technical Advisor of Amazon North America.

Catch up on yesterday’s Freshly Squeezed news here.

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