Page 60 - HW November 2019
P. 60

global eyes
thanks to Target
TRU Kids, the new owner of failed toy retailer Toys R Us, has relaunched the brand’s online retail arm, having partnered with Target for fulfilment.
While it’s not clear how revenue will be split between the two, customers who click to buy on are redirected to Target, which will handle sales and delivery, and possibly offer same-day delivery across the US.
Toys R Us came back from bankruptcy in January and started to open stores in the US this summer, having previously shuttered its bricks & mortar in the US and the UK last year.
Aussies ignore
recalls at their peril
Australians could be at risk of injury or even death from 6.6 million individual products which are currently under voluntary recall, warns the ACCC.
The Australian organisation says that only about half of the 650 or so products recalled annually are actually returned
to sellers, leaving one in four Australian households exposed to potential hazards.
The ACCC is therefore recommending that the Australian Government strengthen consumer law by making
it mandatory for businesses to comply with a “new safety duty”, which would mean businesses must “take reasonable steps” to ensure the products they sell are not unsafe.
Says the ACCC: “We believe prevention is better than cure, and that legally requiring businesses to take steps to ensure the safety of their products before they enter the market is needed to protect Australian consumers.”
Two goes into one –
Towards a slimmer, faster
John Lewis
LAST MONTH, THE John Lewis Partnership announced that, from February next year, the organisation – comprising John Lewis and Waitrose – would be managed and operated as a single business.
Aiming to be “better positioned to break out from the cycle of declining returns that are affecting most established retailers”, the two divisions will now
be managed by a single executive team comprising seven new Director roles with responsibilities across the whole of the Partnership.
Among the new roles, Paula Nickolds, currently Managing Director of John Lewis, will become Executive Director, Brand and will be responsible for leading the development of customer experience and future innovations across brand, digital, marketing and services.
The new cross-Partnership roles will mean 75 fewer senior managers at head office from the current total of 225 and over time should lead to savings of no less than £100 million. The latest news comes on top of 10 or so store closures in the last two years.
Aside from reducing overheads, the new structure should make for a more unified strategy, speed up decision making and internal and customer service systems.
Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Sir Charlie Mayfield, explains: “The lesson of the last two years is that we need more innovation, faster decision making and bolder steps to align our operating model with our strategy.
“We will be a more modern and more unified business with a leadership team and cost structure that will enable the business to thrive in the long-term.”
Despite these considerable changes behind the scenes, in terms of what the consumer will see, he says: “there will be little or no disruption to our shops or websites in the near term.”
The pundits are less certain about the eventual outcome of this big change, involving as it does two very different retail disciplines managed by a single team.
Thomas Brereton, Retail Analyst for GlobalData, for example, says that although John Lewis Partnership “should be lauded for the attempt of reducing costs with minimal further impact on consumers” ... “the long-term impact of running a unified strategy for two retailers with such a varied proposition is questionable.”
Last financial year the Partnership generated impressive top line revenues of £10.3 billion, however yielding a meagre profit of some £117 million.
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