Business stories of interest this week

Business stories from the past week, compiled by Jason Maywald:

1. JB HI-FI releases first half results

The launch of Amazon Australia has failed to entice shoppers away from electronics and entertainment juggernaut JB Hi-Fi.

CEO Richard Murray remained optimistic when asked about Amazon’s impact during the 2018 Half Year Investor Conference this morning.

“Obviously we are happy to welcome all new competitors to the market and we believe we can compete effectively,” Mr Murray said.

“We are really stoked with both JB Hi-Fi and The Good Guys and how they are evolving in the retail market.

“JB Hi-Fi is a globally unique business model and … both JB Hi-Fi and the Good Guys are in a unique position with customers.”


2.  5G feeds wireless optimism as NBN struggles

As NBN talks up its expectations for getting more customers on to faster 50 Mbps plans, a growing number of Australians are fed up waiting for the national network to deliver on their expectations and are looking to faster mobile networks and upcoming 5G to provide their internet service.

New figures from research firm Telsyte showed that, in the past year, 20 per cent of Australians had decreased the amount of fixed broadband usage, in favour of using their mobile data plan quotas, and almost 30 per cent had needed to tether mobile devices at home to cover for slow or non-working fixed broadband connection either at home or at work.


3. ALDI lures campers ahead of Easter holidays

Not content with taking on Woolies and Coles, ALDI appears to be challenging BCF with its latest Special Buys.

ALDI’s latest Special Buys sale is all about caravanning and camping, and among its grab bag of goodies is a caravan cover for $99.99, a privacy screen for $29.99, a levelling ramp/chock set for $19.99 and a dog anchor $9.99.

The random range of goodies are on sale on Saturday, and Caravanning Queensland CEO Ron Chapman said the timing was uncanny, given parks across the state had been heavily booked over the Easter holidays.

He said the feedback from the Queensland Caravan Association board meeting this week was all positive, and that’s despite Easter beginning in March.

“The eight divisions gave their reports and all bookings are extremely solid,” Mr Chapman said.


4) Victorian power stations hit by disruption to coal supply

Two Victorian power stations have been forced to cut generation after a problem with coal supply from an adjoining mine.

The Australian Energy Market Operator notified the market late on Sunday that coal reliability supply issues from the Loy Yang brown coal mine forced AGL’s Loy Yang A and Alinta’s Loy Yang B power stations – which both take coal from the mine – to reduce generation by around 1400 megawatts across both power stations, or the entire generation capacity of Loy Yang B, as well as one of the generation units of Loy Yang A.

“AEMO was informed by a power station operator of short-term reliability issues,” an AEMO spokeswoman said.


5) Kmart destroying retail icon

If the bosses of global fast fashion chain H&M had been in Sydney last weekend, they would have witnessed a depressing sight.

During the peak shopping time of Saturday afternoon, in its flagship Pitt Street Mall store, the lights may have been on but not many people were home.

When visited the store only around 15 people were browsing the aisles on one floor, flicking through plain pastel coloured tees and blue striped business shirts.

“I remember when they used to sell man skirts. You wouldn’t see that now,” said one unenthused shopper.