Top 10 Biggest Retail Stories of 2012

Compiled by Patrick Avenell

From the first few weeks of the year, when all the talk was about unification, to the close of 2012, with the brand is set to disappear on the East Coast, Retravision has continually made headlines. The collapse of Retravision Southern in May was the focal point for much of this activity, though Retravision certainly wasn't alone in having a tough year, as WOW Sight & Sound, Harvey Norman and the major department stores can all testify.

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Here are Current.com.au Top 10 Most Read Retail Stories of 2012:

1. Retravision Southern holding emergency meetings as suppliers go unpaid

"Retravision Southern will hold emergency meetings with its members tomorrow to discuss serious cash flow deficiencies that have resulted in suppliers not being paid for stock. At a staff meeting at the group’s Melbourne head office this morning, staffmembers were guaranteed their entitlements should the company fall into administration."

2. Retravision's $9 fire sale: stock from collapsed stores goes up for sale online

"Following the collapse of Retravision Southern, the Australian online retail and auction company GraysOnline has announced a fire sale of stock from three Retravision stores under administration, with prices on all items starting at $9."

3. WOW! Sight & Sound goes into receivership owing $29m

"The Queensland-based electronics store WOW! Sight & Sound has gone into receivership this afternoon, due to “declining sales and profitability” and $20 million of bad debt, according to Ferrier Hodgson administrator, James Stewart."

4. Myer suspends warranty sales as United Warranties flails

"Concerns are mounting over the fate of warranty provider United Warranties as key retail and supplier partners withdraw their support for the company. Myer has ceased selling extended warranties from the company, while Bush Australia has confirmed that it is no longer providing manufacturer’s warranties from United on its products."

5. Woolworths sells Dick Smith Electronics for $20 million cash

"Woolworths Limited has sold its Dick Smith Electronics business to private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners. Anchorage will now take over the 325 bricks and mortar stores." 

6. Woolworths breaks into daily deals with Door Buster website

"Like Harvey Norman Big Buys before it, Woolworths Limited has quietly launched a new deal-of-the-day online store format, selling everything from consumer electronics and appliances, to fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) such as chocolate and sunscreen."

7. Huge fire breaks out at Harvey Norman Penrith, with images

"Reports are emerging that a Harvey Norman store in Penrith has caught fire. Firm information is not yet available, though Current.com.au understands a truck loading goods at the store either caught fire or caused the fire."

8. Rival retailers ambush Canberra Apple Store opening

"Target and Radio Rentals both tried to use this morning's gala opening for Canberra's first Apple Retail Store, and Australia's 16th overall, to increase their own business."

9. Dick Smith's $1 Sale: Retailer offers apology with gaming discounts

"Following a bungled sale at the beginning of the month which saw disgruntled consumers walking away empty handed, Dick Smith has extended its “Game On” gaming sale. The retailer came under fire after details of a sale were allegedly leaked online."

10. Harvey Norman restructures to stay in touch with "emerging trends"

"Harvey Norman is embarking on a restructure of its Electrical and Computer divisions, with two new divisions being created to report directly to current executive director David Ackery. According to an email sent to company franchisees by Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page, the changes will come into effect on 2 April 2012."

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