Compiled by Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: With only four more days of left in 2010, it’s time for our annual look back at the biggest stories of the year. We received a record number of views on our website this year, with a number of key stories captivating our readers’ attention.

We will be back again next year, with entering its eighth year of publication. And, as always, it will be up-to-date, informative and free. Before that, though, it’s time to look back at the highest rating stories of the year.

Our first category to explore is Retail News. In an encouraging sign for the industry, the most read story concerning retailers was not a collapse but an expansion, with the revelation that Costco Australia planned to open six new Australian sites by 2013. By the end of 2010, Costco’s Auburn site had been finalised, though no concrete details about locations have been released.

Collapses were unavoidable, however, with the second most read story being Rick Hart’s lamenting the demise of Clive Peeters, which had previously purchased the Rick Hart chain during its glory days. “I feel very sad about it is an icon brand. It has been a very successful business even though I haven’t been involved for the last six months. It is very sad to see it get to this point,” said Hart.

The Rick Hart angle was particularly popular with readers, standing out from a large number of stories filed concerning Clive Peeters’ demise. It all happened on 19 May 2010, with readers coming to in huge numbers to read various stories about the collapse. Amongst these were stories about administration, the effect of Sonya Causer’s embezzlement and the company secretary falling on his sword.

Also popular with readers in 2010 was Canstar Blue’s first customer satisfaction survey of the major CE chains. The Good Guys, Retravision and JB Hi-Fi were particularly well-rated by this survey, which revealed that women consumers are generally happier with their electronics dealers than male customers.

And rounding the Top Five biggest retail stories was the news that Harvey Norman executives wanted a combined $9.5 million pay rise. The new remuneration package was due to be put to a vote of shareholders at a meeting, but the move was withdrawn when it became clear that the proposal did not have the support required to be carried.

Top Five Retail Stories of 2010

1. Costco Australia set to open ‘six new stores’
2. Rick Hart: “It’s a sad day for me and the company”
3. Sonya the Causer of Clive Peeters administration
4. The Good Guys outdo the big guys
5. Harvey Norman shareholders refuse executive pay rise