By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn.
Investment analysts at Morgan Stanley have reduced the share price target of retail giant Wesfarmers by 12%, claiming the retailer’s department store businesses Kmart and Target are “particularly vulnerable” reports Business Insider.
Morgan Stanley now rates Wesfarmers as underweight, down from equal-weight, and the rating downgrade comes ahead of the imminent arrival of online retailer Amazon at the end of 2017, with analyst Morgan Kierath telling the Herald Sun Australian specialty stores were less exposed to competition from Amazon.
“The Australian department stores look far more exposed than leading specialty retailers. Australia is overbuilt with department stores, versus other developed markets,” Kierath said.
The total losses Morgan Stanley predicts Wesfarmers will incur amount to $400 million in earnings before interest and taxes by 2026, while Amazon is predicted to generate $12 billion in sales by the same year.
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Choice weighs in on food measurements
Consumer rights advocacy group CHOICE has said it’s “vital” for food products to continue to show their weight on the front of the packet as the government debates whether to give businesses flexibility around where the measurement can be displayed, reports news.com.au.
The Department of Industry is currently fielding submissions around a review of the National Trade Measurement Regulations to potentially remove “prescriptive regulations that control the size, orientation and position of the measurement mark”.
However CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey told news.com.au he believes current regulations should be left as-is.
“The erratic changes in weight across similar-looking packs can confuse consumers and show why it’s vital the pack weight stays on the front of a product,” he said.
“Our research shows hiding the quantity information on the back of pack is likely to short change 74 percent of people who consider it important.”