THE NEWS WRAP: China website on horizon for Harvey Norman

Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey is considering launching a China-based website that would allow him to sell products GST-free to Australians.


Harvey has criticised the Federal Government for its failure to charge GST to overseas websites importing goods for less than $1000, as traditional retailers struggle to make sales.

Strike action could cause Christmas chaos for retailers


Transport giants including Linfox, Toll, TNT and Asciano are facing strike action that threatens to disrupt Christmas deliveries as part of a wages push by transport unions. According to the Australian Financial Review, more than 270 secret ballots to approve industrial action has been held since July 1, indicating more strikes are to come. The transport, manufacturing, construction and nursing sector are likely to be hardest hit.


Krispy Kreme out of the administration


Krispy Kreme is back in the hands of directors, but only after closing nearly half of its stores. The doughnut chain entered into voluntary administration in early November, citing low sales, high rents and high distribution costs as the reasons for its downfall.


Administrators Mike Smith and Peter Hillig implemented a restructure of the business, closing 24 of the group’s retail outlets, and establishing a $2.3 million fund to partly pay back creditors.


The markets


Wall Street ended last week up 2.6% for the week, despite a shock rise in US unemployment that raised fears the faltering US economic recovery had stalled again, and on-going concerns about the European economy. In Australia, all eyes will be on the Reserve Bank at the start of the week, as its board meets to decide whether another interest rate rise is needed before Christmas. Most commentators expect rates will remain on hold.


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