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Retailers going under and is it time for doughnuts?

 

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Pumpkin Patch, Laura Ashley Australia, Dick Smith, Australian Geographic, Seduce…what do these businesses have in common? They all collapsed into administration in 2016, some faring better than others.

While Pumpkin Patch has closed 27 stores (costing 145 people their jobs), Laura Ashley managed to find a buyer for 18 of its bricks and mortar locations as well as its online store. Not to mention Dick Smith, which has been reborn as an online-only venture after the brand was purchased by Kogan.com.

This week we added another retailer to the list of those struggling, just in time for Christmas. Howards Storage World, which began as a single store in the early seventies, is now in the hands of two Deloitte administrators who will look to sell the business. Read more on that here.

Here are a few other things I’ve been interested in this week:

I’m talking to… This week I got to indulge my sweet tooth in a chat with Damain Griffiths, the founder of cult retailer Doughnut Time. Ever since a store opened up near the Retailbiz office I’ve had my fair share of the retailer’s Nutella-stuffed goodies (as shown in the image above), so it was great to get the chance to talk all things doughnuts. The food entrepreneur discussed his new investors, international expansion plans and what he sees as the secret to his success (hint: intuition and experience play a big part). Read more here.

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I’m reading… this article from the Wall Street Journal about Panasonic’s plan to introduce checkout machines that can scan and bag items on their own. The news comes after the launch of Amazon’s Just Walk Out shopping experience, Amazon Go, which automatically charges a shopper’s account without lining up at a checkout. Find out more here.

See Panasonic’s idea in action:

 

I’m thinking about… parking. Specifically, how parking (or lack thereof) affects local businesses. According to CellOPark issues like a lack of parking spaces, fines and parking rates are deterring 71 per cent of motorists from shopping on their local high street this Christmas. Instead, consumers are heading to their local shopping centre where parking is readily available. You can read more, including a possible solution to the problem, here.

 

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