Fastway Couriers, one of the country’s leading couriers which works with retailers including TradeMe, The Nile and Briscoe Group, is undertaking a significant rebrand.
The company is adopting a new name, Aramex, which is also the name of its international parent company, reflecting its increasingly global focus, amid the rise of online shopping.
“We are retaining our unique franchise business model but are gaining a global mindset with access to new innovations, new technologies and new shipping destinations,” said Scott Jenyns, Fastway Couriers NZ chief executive, of the change.
“This is a major step forward for our local franchise operators but also for many New Zealand businesses that either export products to the world or import to New Zealand.”
The brand rollout is expected to take three months to complete and includes rebranding all of the company’s offices and depots nationwide, more than 300 courier vehicles and uniforms for more than 500 people, who are employed and engaged with the company in New Zealand.
“It’s a big exercise which has been keenly welcomed by our business franchisees and our business partners,” Jenyns said.
The rebrand will also see Fastway Couriers become a full-service logistics company, supporting the movement of envelope-sized parcels to large shipping containers.
“The parcel and delivery industry has changed dramatically over the past 35 years, which started as a business to business offering but today over 80 percent of parcel movements are smaller than 3 kilograms and delivered to residential properties due to online retail,” Jenyns said.
One thing that won’t change is the company’s franchise model.
“We’ll still be local franchisees, in local regions, and this is very important to us as franchising remains in our DNA,” Jenyns said.
“The key point of difference is that now we’ll be able to offer greater global reach and opportunities to our customers and our people through career advancement opportunities.”
Established in Hawke’s Bay in 1983 by Bill McGowan, Fastway Couriers New Zealand has 18 regional franchisees with over 250 courier franchisees from the far north to Bluff in the South Island.
Aramex, a Dubai-based logistics group bought Fastway Couriers New Zealand in January 2016 for $125 million. Aramex is considered one of the top 5 logistics providers in the world with a presence in 72 countries, transporting nearly 70 million parcels globally each year.
Jewellery retailer Michael Hill revealed a 3.5 per cent fall in total same-store sales to $548.3 million across all markets for FY19.
In New Zealand, the retailer saw a decrease in same-store sales of 4.7 per cent to $115.2 million, down from $120.9 million, with two stores closing and two opening over the period.
In Australia, same-store sales fell 5.9 per cent to $305.6 million, down from $324.7 million the prior year, with eight stores closing over the year.
“Our e-commerce business has continued to grow at a significant rate, with annual sales now more than double that of our largest physical store,” said Daniel Bracken, chief executive of Michael Hill International.
“Over the course of FY20, we will continue to invest in this important future growth channel for the group.
“As our strategic initiatives and customer-led retail operating model continue to unfold, and with a full-strength leadership team now in place, I am excited by the year ahead, and our ability to grow market share.”
Michael Hill underpays Australian workers
The jewellery retailer has revealed it will spend up to $26 million repaying its workers, after a review into the business’s employment contracts and rostering practices found a “historic misapplication” of the Award across six years.
Michael Hill confirmed to Inside Retail that the underpayment issue only affects Australian employees.
The initial review was completed with the assistance of independent experts PriceWaterhouseCoopers, though a more detailed review will be undertaken “with urgency” due to the complexity of the issue. Michael Hill expects the review to take several months to complete.
“I’m committed to engaging with our team members transparently and with absolute integrity and fairness,” said Bracken.
“When we identified there was an issue, I mobilised a team, supported by independent external experts, to determine the scale of the problem, identify the individuals affected and to ensure full compliance with the Award going forward.
“We will move as quickly as possible to rectify any under-payments with those team members affected.”
Employee underpayment has been a common topic in the Australian retail industry over the last year, with Super Retail Group, Caltex, and Lush, among others, owning up to the mistake.
Luxury e-commerce player Net-A-Porter has launched a new, invite-only digital destination called EIP PRIVÉ, which gives its most loyal customers access to exclusive jewellery pieces.
The service, which is available in 170 countries including Australia and New Zealand, provides an ultra-luxury, personalised, interactive shopping experience, with a personal shopping assistant available 24/7 through a personal landing page, email or WhatsApp.
“Building on the success of our Fine Jewellery and Watch suite, we are delighted to introduce a special collection of exquisite, high jewellery pieces at Net-A-Porter,” Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter president Alison Loehnis said.
“EIP PRIVÉ will offer clients a truly unique opportunity to discover the world’s most exclusive high jewellery maisons through a highly personalised, invitation-only service.”
EIP PRIVÉ, which translates to Private EIP (extremely important people), also helps to facilitate product pick-up, hand delivery, and “Try Before You Buy” services, as well as customised jewellery, bespoke requests and assistance in sourcing one-of-a-kind pieces and rare stones.
“The sky is the limit in terms of customisations of the pieces, we can arrange anything from different metals, different stones and personalisation with the maisons,” Net-A-Porter global buying director Elizabeth von der Goltz told Inside Retail.
“Our customers have been coming to us for some time to request bespoke or customised jewellery items off site – in fact, offsite sales for custom and bespoke pieces have grown 420 per cent this season alone.”
EIP PRIVÉ will expand into watches and men’s products later in 2019.
The company considered cancelling the listing, according to Reuters, but ultimately placed 40 million new shares primarily with existing investors.
Reuters reported that Swedish investor Kinnevik, which owns 36.8 per cent in GFG, and Germany’s Rocket Internet, with 20.4 per cent, bought shares worth €60 million euros and €50 million euros respectively.
A further four million existing shares have been allocated to cover an over-allotment option for banks running the deal, which – if taken up – would increase the proceeds of the IPO to €198 million, according to GFG.
Reuters said the lack of interest from investors was due to broader capital market conditions, as well as scepticism about the company’s focus on emerging markets in Latin America and Asia.
“It is still very early days for fashion e-commerce in our markets,” Christoph Barchewitz and Patrick Schmidt, co-CEOs of GFG, said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“We are building the #1 fashion and lifestyle destination in Asia Pacific, Latin America and CIS.”
GFG runs four fashion websites, including The Iconic in Australia and New Zealand, Zalora in Southeast Asia, Dafiti in Latin America and La Moda in Russia and former Soviet Union states, a market it refers to as CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States].
The company says it connects over 10,000 global, local and own fashion brands to a market of over 1 billion consumers.
GFG’s shares opened at €4.47 on Tuesday and closed 5.6 per cent down at €4.22.
Australian e-commerce company Adore Beauty has launched a dedicated website in New Zealand.
The site, which soft launched last week and officially launched on Monday, has a local URL and lists prices in the local currency. Customers receive free express shipping on orders over $50 with same-day dispatch on orders placed before 4pm (New Zealand time). They can also call a local customer service number if they have any issues.
“Being able to pay in your own currency, having payment methods you recognise, a strong shipping offer…it’s all about taking the parts of the customer experience that people respond to really well in Australia and figuring out how to do that in New Zealand,” Kate Morris, founder and CEO of Adore Beauty, told Inside Retail.
The New Zealand launch marks a return to Adore Beauty’s international expansion, after it put those plans on ice over the past few years to address rapid growth in the Australian market.
The completion of a warehouse transformation project in late 2018, which tripled fulfilment capacity, means Adore Beauty is now able to provide the same level of service to overseas customers as those in Australia.
According to Morris, the launch so far has gone better than expected, despite the buzz that Sephora is generating ahead of the opening of its first bricks-and-mortar store in New Zealand later this month.
“It’s not something we get too wrapped up in to be honest,” she said about the arrival of the French cosmetics giant.
“Anything that goes towards helping the New Zealand customer get the selection she deserves is generally a good thing.”
Morris added that Sephora’s expansion in Australia has “grown the pie” for the beauty spending. Indeed, the online retailer expects sales to surpass A$100 million this year – more than double last year’s sales of A$52 million.
“We’re seeing a bit of a shift in the way that consumers are approaching shopping for beauty online,” Morris told Inside Retail.
“When we started 19 years ago, online shopping was all about price. The only reason people shopped online was because things might be cheaper, and that was never really what we were about. Then it moved to being a convenient replenishment option, and that was where a lot of our growth started.
“What we’re seeing now is that customers are willing to go on a journey of discovery completely online. Between the type of content we’re producing now for our Beauty IQ blog and what we’re doing on Instagram, people are buying products online sight unseen.”
Adore Beauty offers more than 14,000 makeup, skincare and haircare products from brands including Mac, Napoleon Perdis, Kerastase, Oribe, Aesop, Jurlique and others.
Less than a month after returning to Australian shores with a more focused, digital offering, Toys ‘R’ Us has launched on eBay, adding more than 4,000 items to the marketplace.
According to Toys ‘R’ Us, the move represents an important facet of its omnichannel approach moving forward. It believes it will benefit from exposure to eBay’s more than 11 million unique monthly visitors.
Toys ‘R’ Us confirmed to Inside Retail New Zealand that while the marketplace is on eBay’s Australian site, it will deliver to customers in New Zealand.
“Toys ‘R’ Us is an icon known and loved by Aussies of all ages, so we’re thrilled to welcome the retailer to eBay as it builds its online offering,” eBay’s senior director B2C of advertising and commercial partnerships Kristian Haigh said.
“This partnership is a natural evolution and we’re proud to help Australian retailers by making it easier for shoppers to access their favourite brands, wherever and however they choose to shop.”
The launch follows an eight-year partnership between eBay and Hobby Warehouse, which is partnering with TRU Kids, the US-based owner of Toys ‘R’ Us, on the toy store’s relaunch in Australia and New Zealand.
Toys ‘R’ Us chairman Kevin Moore noted that some retailers see up to 40 per cent of their total sales volume driven by the combination of marketplaces they partner with.
“Online marketplaces are an important part of all online retailers’ service to shoppers,” Moore said.
“Toys ‘R’ Us will continue to partner closely with eBay on toy sales and promotions, and other relevant marketplaces in the future.”
Moore said the brand will explore and embrace new partnership opportunities as they arise.
“We have been amazed at the positive reactions of the Toys ‘R’ Us digital re-launch… Hobby Warehouse has benefited from toy buyers looking for adult hobby items too.
“We have had over 70 new suppliers contact us to list their range of toy and hobby brands on both sites.”
Last month, the two companies announced a new format of Toys ‘R’ Us ‘experience centres’ will open across Australia and New Zealand in 2020.
“Our mission is to encourage children to engage with as many forms of play as we possibly can,” Hobby Warehouse chief executive and Toys ‘R’ Us Australia director Louis Mittoni said.
“Hobby Warehouse is a digital native with a keen understanding of how to accelerate and match the requirements of the modern shopper.”
According to IBISWorld data, the toy and game retailing industry is expected to see a revenue drop of almost 16 per cent over 2019, with the market expecting to generate around $740 million – down from the $880.2 million seen in the prior year.
IBISWorld senior industry analyst Kim Do said the business’ shift away from physical retail and toward a more online-centric offer would make its re-entry to the market smoother.
At this point in time, it is unclear if Babies ‘R’ Us products will feature on eBay.
Alibaba Tmall has launched its first English-language website in an effort to attract more international merchants and businesses, making it easier for sellers to capitalise on the demand for international goods in China.
Tmall already features 700 New Zealand brands on the platform, as well as 2000 Australian brands – with Australian company Chemist Warehouse the number one cross-border store on the global site.
“We believe the launch of this English-language website will expedite the process for brands and merchants to introduce their products to Chinese consumers,” Tmall Global deputy general manager Yi Qian said.
“The website will widen our reach to merchants, especially to those medium and small-sized businesses around the world.”
The new site details the solutions Tmall Global offers to merchants entering the China market, as well as step-by-step guides and a pre-screening service to help merchants open a flagship store on Tmall Global.
The marketplace intends to launch other language versions of its site, including Spanish, Japanese and Korean, further expanding its international reach.
Tmall Global doubled the number of flagship stores on the platform in 2018, and expects to further accelerate that growth rate in 2019.
A new global index from Adobe shows consumers in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) have the highest customer experience expectations in the world.
The index, released on Monday, is based on a survey that asked thousands of consumers in ANZ, the US, UK, France, Germany, India, Japan and South East Asia about their expectations for digital experiences in the retail, travel and hospitality, media and entertainment and financial services industries.
According to the findings, Australians and New Zealanders have higher expectations of personalisation and automation than consumers in other regions.
Seventy-nine percent of ANZ consumers demand tailored experiences from organisations and 66 per cent are happy to have completely automated interactions if done well, the survey found.
ANZ consumers also are more critical of things being broken or failing to meet their expectations, the survey found.
This drove ANZ’s overall score in the index to 221, higher than any other market. Consumers in the US had the next highest overall score with 219, followed by the UK with 217, Japan with 216, South East Asia with 212, Germany with 210, India with 202 and France with 196.
“It’s no surprise that Australians and New Zealanders have high consumer expectations,” said Suzanne Steele, managing director of Adobe Australia and New Zealand.
“In the past few years, we’ve seen an explosion of online businesses in the region, which has given consumers more choice than ever before.”
Steele believes organisations are at a crossroads, where managing customer experiences is becoming business critical.
According to the survey, almost half of ANZ shoppers (48 per cent) said they have abandoned their shopping carts due to a poor customer experience.
“Organisations that listen to what their customers want and leverage data to deliver personalised, seamless experiences in real-time will be the ones that succeed in this increasingly competitive market,” Steele said.
According to the survey, customers are most impressed by online retailers providing samples as part of their loyalty program, automated hotel settings and preferences on arrival and using mobile apps as hotel keys and no need for check-ins.
They are most frustrated by a lack of returns policies for marketplace sellers, hidden fees and no-cancellation policies for travel packages.
The financial services sector was the standout winner in customer experience across most metrics, rating highest for customer service and online experience on both apps and websites, while media and entertainment struggled to meet customer expectations and was rated the worst at accessing content via a website.
New Zealand consumers spent $4.2 billion online last year, a 16 per cent increase on 2017, according to the latest e-commerce report from NZ Post.
This compares to just 2 per cent annual growth in bricks-and-mortar shopping, the postie said in a statement released last week.
The rise in spending was driven by Kiwis shopping online more often, with consumers hitting the ‘buy’ button 22 times each.
Last year also saw the emergence of ‘super shoppers’ – with nearly 10 per cent of the 1.8 million Kiwis who shopped online last year spending over $9000.
The report found that spending with New Zealand online stores grew nearly twice as fast as spending with international online stores, though roughly a third of the dollars consumers spent online in 2018 overall went overseas.
Around 12 per cent of online shoppers used buy now pay later methods, such as Afterpay, last year – with younger users and women being the majority of users.
The most prominent online shoppers in New Zealand are women aged between 30 and 45 who live in rural areas, NZ Post found.
“NZ Post is delivering well over half of all parcels bought online in New Zealand and we’re proud to be integral to that moment of joy when your online shopping parcel arrives,” Bryan Dobson, NZ Post’s chief marketing officer, said.