Chemist Warehouse frustrated at bills

Soaring energy bills are creating a tough retail environment for Chemist Warehouse, the chain’s co-founder has said

Speaking to The Australian’s Eli Greenblat, Chemist Warehouse’s Damien Gance has said that the retail environment is as difficult now as it was during the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-8.

Mr Greenblat interviewed several business leaders who said that energy prices were a growing concern, with one employer claiming Australia is facing an “energy catastrophe”.

According to Damien Gance, the high price of energy is threatening Chemist Warehouse’s ability to effectively compete in the market.

“Chemist Warehouse is a business grounded on passing the best prices to consumers so any input price that materially changes affects our capacity to continue to charge competitive pricing as we do,” Mr Gance told The Australian.

“It has bubbled its way up the management levels within our business and has come to my attention.”

The issue of high energy costs, combined with a highly competitive retail sector and consumers who are “weary of spending money,” are a significant concern, Mr Greenblat writes.

“We are seeing it takes a lot more to get consumers to spend on discretionary items… in motivating people to buy more discretionary products and we are finding that we need a better promotional offer, a better call to action, a better retail execution,” Mr Gance said.

Meanwhile, Alizila reports that Chemist Warehouse and Tmall Global – the Alibaba Group’s dedicated cross-border e-commerce site – have extended their exclusive partnership.

The deal means Alibaba will support Chemist Warehouse during significant promotional activities such as the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, and will help the pharmacy chain increase its access to Chinese consumers.

“The motivation to continue the relationship is so we can use Alibaba’s ecosystem to build our brand awareness in China,” said Nancy Jian, chief operating officer for the China division of Chemist Warehouse.

“We work with Alibaba very closely to make sure we utilize every channel possible to engage our target customers on Tmall Global.”

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