Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Retail stouch brings out hammers, saws



GUNS and bombs are the standard weapons of war but hammers and saws can be handy when the retail giants battle for supremacy.
The retail power game, which has been one of the nation's most discussed subjects in recent years, is erupting into outright commercial warfare, as Woolworths advances toward the opening of its first home improvement stores.
Woolies is recruiting staff for a Tingalpa store, which is under construction. Positions that the group has listed on the new Fairfax Media network, Jobs.com.au, include department managers and assistants, receiving associate and training coordinator.

A WOOLIES spokeswoman in Sydney yesterday confirmed the store was scheduled to open in the second half of 2011. She understood about 120 staff would be needed.
The job notice lists the departments as gardening/outdoor living; paint, flooring and home d├ęcor; kitchens and appliances; building supplies and trade sales; plumbing, electrical and tools; stockroom; and administration.
The criteria include ability to work across the seven days of the week, evenings, late nights and some public holidays; retail management experience; experience in one of the categories; a strong customer focus; liking for a fast-paced team environment; communication and interpersonal skills; an eye for detail and a sense of urgency; ability to drive sales; and a passion for home improvement.

THE details are likely to be well read by generals of the opposing 'army', the Wesfarmers group, which operates the Bunnings chain. They have had to chew their nails while Woolies has plotted its hardware campaign, which retail watchers dubbed as "top secret".
The Sydney Morning Herald last month reported Woolworth would spend about $400 million on the first 12 stores in its joint venture with US partner Lowe's as they targeted the $6 billion a year Bunnings business.
Bunnings reportedly has lodged a development application to build a store at Wynnum West, about one minute's drive from the Woolies site.
The name of the new chain is still a whisper in the Woolworths corridors but retail analysts expect an announcement soon.
The spokeswoman would not reveal whether the company planned any hardware stores in Redland City.

Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column appeared in The Redland Times in April. Image courtesy www.clker.com

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