THE ‘LAST WORD’ ACCORDING TO PETER MITCHELL | february 2016

 

It’s scary that less than 25% of the new products and variants presented by suppliers actually made it to the shelf last year. Some smart alec told me it was because the two retailers saw the product, thought it was a great idea and sourced it themselves from Ubekestan or some such unpronounceable factory found on the internet.

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“It’s easy for buyers to get up themselves and let the power go to their heads. They should remember it’s about business and not about ego’s…” Mark Powell, retiring ceo of The Warehouse speaking to the FGC conference in Sydney.

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It looks like the Tegel float is going to make the stock exchange shortly with an estimated capitalization of around $800m, about $200m ahead of current owners Affinity Equity Partners purchase price from Pacific Equity Partners in 2011. And it seems like three new high profile independent directors are being appointed including former Coca-Cola Amatil boss and previous FGC chairman George Adams.

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How many noticed that one of the partners in Mediaweb, the previous owners of FMCG magazine, has to do a couple of years in the clink for the company’s substantial fraud that totted up over a couple of million in debts. And some of you did business with them.

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This could be the year that the marketing people in some of our supply companies actually get off their butts and visit retail stores. The sales people have been telling them about stores for a long time but the message often doesn’t get through. Truth is if you want to keep in touch with the trade, do your own weekly shopping or just go on some field trips with your pointy-end team.

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On that same note, trade spend is now hitting record levels and it would be nice for marketing to see exactly where that money is going – and demand a return for it. It could be the year that manufacturers stop paying for anything that doesn’t enhance product performance.

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I haven’t verified this claim yet, but it sounds fairly correct. A recent study found that women who carry a little extra weight, live longer than the men who mention it …

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We heard that our local airline introduced a special package for businessmen. Buy your ticket and get your wife’s ticket free. It was a great success and the airline sent out letters to all the wives asking how the trip was. All of them gave the same reply: “What trip?”

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On the question of a new year, it could well be that we see a voluntary code of practice introduced before it is legislated. Being voluntary places a burden on those who prescribe to it, admittedly, but but it would be great to have a reference point for discussion in the industry. Certainly it would improve relationships because it would provide boundaries and would be a positive step forward. We do know that “mugging” meetings still exist and that is ethically inappropriate.