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Optus has provided further information on the closure of its Virgin Mobile Australia subsidiary, revealing on Wednesday it will begin the retail store phase-out from June 4, 2018, and will stop upgrading and selling new postpaid mobile and broadband services on June 15. "This decision comes as a result of a strategic review of the Optus and Virgin Mobile brands which was recently conducted ahead of the approaching expiry of the Virgin Mobile brand licence in 2020," the phase-out FAQs explain. Around 200 staffers will be affected as a result of the closure, Optus said, and it will do its "very best" to redeploy existing employees within the Optus business "wherever possible". "For Virgin Mobile employees, our policy is always to talk to those who may be impacted by these changes first. Where customers are concerned, the telco said all customers will be able to continue to use their Virgin Mobile service as normal, and that all current contracts will be honoured. All current Virgin Mobile service teams, as well as My Account and the My Account app, will be available to support customers, too. "As they are already connected to the Optus network, Virgin Mobile customers can continue to use their service in the same way they always have," Optus managing director of Marketing & Product Ben White said. "We have a special transition plan in place to make sure the impact to customers is minimal, and the experience they have during this time is a positive one. Optus has been forced by the Federal Court to pay AU$1.5 million in penalties after misleading its customers about switching over to NBN's HFC network. Telstra has gained an interlocutory injunction against Optus' potentially misleading ads that claim it operates Australia's best mobile network.
You Probably Live Near A Walmart, So It’s Depending On In-Store Pickup For Growth. Instead, the company wants to draw customers to its stores with pickup towers or grocery pickup points, or dispatch store employees to make deliveries. Towers of E-Commerce Dominance During today’s quarterly earnimgs confefence call, Walmart CEO Doug McMilon was pleased with the company’s increased sales growth. Its comparable store sales just keep increasing, and Walmart is using those online sales, which include grocery orders for pickup, to bring customers to the store. Or at least the parking lot. This is a practical matter. That means stopping by one is usually convenient, and changes the way that the company approaches e-commerce compared to its competitors. This year, the retailer is going hyper-local, storing more than a million supply lists for teachers, delivering full sets of school supplies to customers’ doorsteps (or local Walmart store) even before the academic year begins. A long way for Amazon to go We know that Walmart and Amazon are locked in a battle for national sales dominance, so it’s notable that while Amazon is working hard to expand its private label offerings and its food offerings, it has an obvious role model in Walmart. Amazon’s biggest brand in sales, the private-label electronics line AmazonBasics, sold $210 million in the first half of the year.
Asda returns to sales growth but brand recovery is still some way off. Asda returned to sales growth in its second quarter for the first time in three years as investments in price and the store experience convinced shoppers to return. Like-for-like sales (excluding petrol) were up 1.8% in the three months to 30 June, with Asda claiming one of its most successful Easter trading periods ever with total sales up 16%. Even without Easter, comparative sales would still have been up 1.1%. Doug McMillon, CEO at Asda’s parent company Walmart, says he is “encouraged” by the return to sales growth and that investments in price and store experience are resulting in shoppers visiting more often and increasing their basket sizes. “There’s still much more to be done, but we’re clearly headed in the right direction,” he says. Asda has been the worst performing of the big four supermarkets for a number of quarters. Asda will also need to focus on building up its brand. Its Index score, which measures a range of metrics including quality, impression and reputation, has barely inched up over the past year and it has a score of 14.9, putting it in ninth place in a list of 25 supermarket brands and behind all its major competitors. Only in terms of value does it beat its main rivals, coming in third with a score of 23 but still well behind Aldi on 46.7 and Lidl on 43.2.