Thursday, 11 August 2011
There aren't any winners in this situation. Livestock farmers and animal protectionists alike have witnessed the cruelty of Australian cattle processing in the Indonesian abattoirs.
Depressingly this has been going on for over 10 years now. The Meat and Livestock Association (MLA) here in Australia has some questions to answer. Blatantly refusing to compensate the cattle farmers they say they represent (and receive levies from) it's now up to us, the tax payer to fund compensation regardless of which side you take.
Support the upcoming 'It's Time To Take Action' rallies in your local cities (Adelaide Sun 14th August) to voice your protest and make a stand against cruelty to all animals.
Sunday, 7 August 2011
27 consecutive months of below average retail trade in Australia. Not even with the all the perpetual sales is anything budging. No one is immune; from large retailers like David Jones (down 20%) to the small self-owned businesses. Retail; it's a tough trade to be in for sure.
Now there are a number of factors at play. GFC, inflation, high Aussie dollar, volatile share-market, new imposed taxes and a uncertain future government to name but a few. The buying public are spooked, have lost confidence and there isn't too much light at the end of the tunnel to brighten their gloom.
Retailers have heaped a load of their angst and profit demise to the ever growing internet sales boom (making up in reality under 5% of discretionary sales). Given that we do like the convenience and choice, online shopping will continue to steadily grow and be a spur in the heal of mainstream retail.
But can you blame us? Australia being early adopters of all things techie we now embrace this new paradigm. Hammering away at our ipads and netbooks we have discovered that retail pricing can be competitive and we don't have to pay top dollar for marked up goods nor for bad service. And we have so much more choice literally at our fingertips.
For example I recently bought clothing online from an American sports label. Expensive here, cheap over there. I did try to buy locally but no chance on any discount or incentive to purchase. So with my cranking Aussie dollar I ordered online and within 3 working days (I could track my delivery online to the hour) the goods arrived intact, no fuss. Easy!
Too easy. It's addictive. And frankly there is no going back now. Why put up with car-parking fees and lack of spots, depressed retail strips, poor service, high prices marked up to the heavens and a lack of choice. I'm afraid Mr/Ms Retailer we have seen the future.
There isn't much point in refurbishing malls, painting and beautifying to bring customers in. The old retail model is out. Retailers need to develop a new customer experience and adopt the new technology. There is no other way.
So I say to you retailers, for so long you have paid your staff low wages (typically retail salary is $17.00 per hour), marked up your goods at 300%, provided below average service (including after sales service) and haven't adapted to our needs.
Yes, we do have money to splurge but we have become much more savvy about how we spend it and just can't wait any longer for you guys to catch up. Stop crying poor, become competitive or die!
Footnote; The number of businesses placed into administration across Australia has risen by 25% this June. A whopping 35% alone in Melbourne.
Saturday, 6 August 2011
Can we apply this definition to the central Adelaide city retail precinct known as Rundle Mall?
A recent Advertiser newspaper feature questioned the very same in a vox-pop poll of strolling pedestrians resulting in the majority consensus that few agreed Rundle Mall is any more unique than other city malls.
Now I know Martin Haese (Rundle Mall Manager) is really doing some good work to incorporate a more youthful slant on the mall. But the mall is visually tired, showing it's age and has no focal point, no sense of adventure or wonder and that sadly people is the reality.
His side-kick John Samartzis keeps offering the over-worked line of... "Rundle Mall is Unique, that is the key word here and what we are striving for... Unique". Hmmm... I guess that newspaper poll pretty much nailed the argument in the negative here. I'd like to suggest that the marketing department finds a more 'unique' marketing moniker than unique coz we've heard it before, it's parse and tired just like the mall, -get the point here.
I was poo-pooed at a traders meeting when I offered my 2 cents worth of why Rundle Mall is unique. And it's not from today but in the mid 80's when MYER's in the mall installed a roller coaster in the atrium 7 floors above the mall. Wow, did this create a buzz. It was kinda shocking, scary in fact. Whether you chose to ride it or not didn't matter. It attracted visitors, was a draw card and was the only original (insert unique) aspect of the Mall at that time. Died coz of the State Bank debacle. Just a wasteland now of unleased shops (in fact the top floors are now closed to the public).
I'd like to see a modern version of it again or something just as wild. Get dangerous and push the envelope. It's not about getting major international clothing labels to rent in the mall, ho-hum, we can get that anywhere now. That is not... insert... Unique.
Friday, 5 August 2011
Of course I'm talking about the 8 metre tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in her most famous pose. Unveiled on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, it is made of stainless steel and aluminum and weighs in at over 15 tonnes.
Check more out here;
or google image search; Large Marilyn Monroe sculpture Chicago.
Monday, 1 August 2011
Over $13.00 per day minimum (and set to rise thereafter). This is obviously another quick money grab by the government, sorry but I just can't see another reason for it.
Oh, SA health minister John Hill remarked on TV that visitors have been paying for parking at the RAH for years and it hasn't stopped people from visiting. What???!!! Perhaps they don't have a choice John. I'm sure they would rather not pay if given a choice.
"Oh it's to make the entire system across the board more consistent" another said. What the hell does that actually mean? Is that a rational reason to do it? Pollie speak, love it.
So let's work it out. Visit a sick relative or friend in hospital. One weeks car parking at $100.00 minimum, factor in petrol, a coffee or snack (at over inflated prices), or catch the unreliable public transport (in wet weather) and now the entire system is consistent in fleecing the public. I feel better now.
Sunday, 31 July 2011
Really like the place. Hung around the new wharf precinct development which includes the new Convention Centre with it's popular wave lagoon at its feet.
Now there is a plan to revamp the deserted Victoria Square in Adelaide. Plenty to discuss here later. And the latest and greatest plan is, -well adequate but resembles a facsimile to whats already been done in Melbourne. Bottom line is to attract a crowd and bring a real vibe to this city 'round about'.
Now it gets hot in summer in Adelaide. And if you want to attract people to a location provide something that can not only relieve summer stress but has a wow factor beyond belief. Cue Wave Pool! Actually a Wave Lagoon! You don't have to swim in it to appreciate it. Slap bang in the middle of a city it would definitely draw a crowd or three, it's quite a spectacle. And if Darwin with a population of 100k + can do it then so can Adelaide. Worried about the carbon footprint? Use solar power generated by panels on nearby rooftops.
So... consider the wasted parcel of turf south of Victoria Square. Build an amazing wave lagoon. Sprinkle it with plein-air cafes and such. Maybe create sand beaches like they do on the banks of the River Seine during summer in Paris. Hey the tram can circle by (it's route goes right past). What a view arriving to the city this would be for commuters. Worth considering huh.
Tell me, does the current plan float your boat?