Standing up to a retail rip-off

Retail operators have been taken advantage of for too long, and it's time they learned to negotiate better rents, supply chains and labour management. But some may not have the skills to do this.

Peter Birtles, chief executive of Super Retail, is one of our best conventional retailers and he ticks all the right profit and turnover boxes in a tough period. And he is also honest, and that honesty has me worried about whether enough of Australia’s retail executives have the ability to handle the changes that are ahead. Retail was until recently a closed, highly-insulated industry. Now, suddenly, large segments are being exposed to the world.

Birtles chose to specialise in leisure goods retailing and his Super Retail group knows how to apply a series of well thought-out techniques to the carefully selected leisure businesses that they buy.

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