Business Advice

Oroton collapses into voluntary administration … Australia to get banking royal commission … Kaufland buys up in Melbourne

Emma Koehn /

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attends the 199th Birthday lunch for the Westpac Banking Group in Sydney, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

Troubled handbag retailer OrotonGroup Limited has called in the administrators and suspended its quotation on the Australian Securities Exchange after announcing restructure plans in May.

The retailer told shareholders on Thursday morning it had not found any restructure plans that were a more viable option for the business than the appointment of administrators.

Vaughan Strawbridge and Glen Kanevsky of Deloitte Restructuring services have been appointed as administrators of the business, saying in a statement the company will continue to trade while they seek a sale or recapitalisation of the business.

OrotonGroup, which was founded in 1938 by retailer Boyd Lane, has faced significant challenges in the past 12 months, including ending its relationship with GAP after bringing the brand down under in 2013, and posting a $14.25 million loss for the 2017 financial year.

“Our ambition is that a stronger Oroton business will emerge from this process,” Strawbridge said.

Royal commission into banks confirmed

After months of opposition to the idea, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced his government will launch a royal commission into Australia’s banking sector, describing the need for one as “regrettable”.

The Prime Minister announced the decision along with Treasurer Scott Morrison this morning. The government insisted their delay in a decision to launch a royal commission had allowed them to implement a number of changes to the nation’s financial system, which would not have happened if they had launched an inquiry when it was first called for.

However, “we need to put Australia businesses first”, Turnbull said, and this required the creation of a strong financial sector with scrutiny.

The banks were not given advanced notice of today’s announcement, reports the ABC.

Watch the announcement below.

Kaufland buys $16 million Melbourne site

The Herald Sun reports Australians wanting to start shopping at discount hypermarket Kaufland might have to head to Melbourne to get a first look, with the German retailer reportedly buying a $16.4 million former Bunnings site in Dandenong.

The purchase adds to the property portfolio of the Schwarz Group-owned brand, which has outlined plans to enter the local market in the coming years. Earlier in 2017, the company made its first property purchase when it took on the Le Cornu furniture store site near Adelaide.

Retail experts have previously told SmartCompany that despite the number of global entrants opening up shop in Australia in recent months, Kaufland does have a unique product offering.

“I believe that all the food retailers and discount department stores are exposed here. Aldi is exposed, businesses like Target and Big W will be under pressure, and Kmart will be too,” retail expert Gary Mortimer said in October when discussing the brand’s arrival.

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Emma Koehn

Emma Koehn is SmartCompany's senior journalist.

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