UNIQLO’s unfortunate marketing mistake in Australia

Since the days when I studied Japanese at university I have been a great admirer of Japan’s business acumen.  So when UNIQLO opened up some clothing stores in Australia I was very pleased.

You can imagine my disappointment when year after year, UNIQLO fails to cater for Australian sizes.

It is well known that average Australians are not thin.  The average size has been growing so that many Aussies are now about a size 16 or Medium to Large.

However,  when one enters a UNIQLO store all the larger sizes have disappeared and the only sizes still left are S for small or XS for extra small. These sizes would be more appropriate for the Japanese customers. When I asked the very pleasant attendants why there are only tiny sizes left they actually admitted that the larger sizes always sell out immediately.

Today they even admitted that this is a frequent complaint from potential customers.

So shouldn’t this be a lesson for the bosses at UNIQLO?

The first lesson in marketing is  “Learn who your customers are.”  The second lesson is “Cater to the market.”

In my opinion,  UNIQLO would be much more successful if it remembered that Aussie customers are not the same shape as Japanese customers.

We would love to enjoy the excellent products provided by UNIQLO if only they would fit.


Why Australian retirees spend their money overseas

On November the 14th I wrote about the juvenile perfumes that are on sale here in Australia. Apparently, these weak lolly water essences are directed towards the pubescent girls who are mad about Justin Bieber and Little Boy Bands.

Coincidentally,  on the following day,  Robert Gottliebsen, who is a famous economist,  wrote an article in “The Australian” newspaper entitled  “Marketers ignore the over 65s, the only age group who have money and want to spend.”

It is a lamentable fact that retail spending has declined and Gottliebsen blames the retailers who have ignored the only demographic who can actually afford to buy.

Retailers have been hoping that Christmas shopping will help them out of this decline,  but,  in my opinion the anticipated splurge by unfunded shoppers  will only lead to more personal debt among the younger age group.

If only the retailers would provide goods that would appeal to the richest group in our society, the cashed-up over 65s, then these retirees would not have to do their shopping on overseas trips or online with overseas businesses.

I’m sure that they would much prefer to contribute to the Australian economy instead of sourcing their goods,  such as adult perfumes,  from other parts of the planet.


What has happened to perfumes?

Sometimes, I feel as if I have left Earth, my familiar Earth,  behind,  and landed on some other planet.

While the Earth I knew was pleasant and uncomplicated, this new strange version is not as welcoming.  People don’t talk to one another. They are very serious about things.  They are so constricted by the novel regime that is afraid of offending anybody or upsetting somebody accidentally that they vet everything and edit every comment in case it touches a nerve, real or imaginary.

Expressing any opinion is preceded by an apology.  Just in case it’s not politically correct…

So in a way we have diluted conversations so that they have become meaningless and bland.  In other words,  we play it safe.

What has all this got to do with perfumes?

A lot actually.

Allow me to explain.

When I was taking a walk in the Chadstone Shopping Mall I was approached by  a lady who was promoting the new Chanel No5.  So I asked her what was different about this version of Chanel from the previous one  which had stood the test of time.

Her reply was as follows:-  “We have diluted it.”

“Does that mean  you have weakened it,  made it less sexy?”  I asked.

“Yes” she said.  “We are trying to appeal to the younger girls.”

“Can’t they just stick to something like Justin Bieber’s artistic endeavour in the world of perfumers?”  I asked.  “After all,  Chanel is not really a brand for teeny boppers,  is it?”

Surely Chanel is not lolly water, but a sophisticated perfume for real women rather than ingenues.

Apparently not, it seems. Light scents that smell like bubble gum are what pubescents are buying and so we must bow to their Lolita tastes.

I am now scouring the internet for real perfumes for women who have left school and want to enjoy sophisticated and redolent perfumes of the kind worn by women rather than kids.


Why Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne Australia disappoints.

What prompted this blog is the news that Suzanne Grae has been obliged to leave the Chadstone Mall because it is in the way. So now that Diana Ferrari and Suzanne Grae have been ousted,  two of Melbourne’s most popular brands have gone elsewhere.

This is surprising because Chadstone is the largest of all the malls in Australia, but apparently can no longer accommodate two of our iconic clothing outlets for those women who don’t want to look as if they are going up in space as is evident in the Moncler store, for example,  or the satirical fashions by Miu Miu.

I was hoping that when the owners of  “The Chadstone  Fashion Capital” finished expanding their huge mall they would improve the shopping experience for their customers.

Sadly, this has not been the case because the Chadstone managers obviously  do not have the interests of the shoppers at heart.  Their main interest is in leasing stores in the mall. It is obvious that the comfort and the experience of the customers do not matter to the current managers.

In the older part of the mall, the same decrepit conveniences are still there. When I complained about the lack of  clean facilities for shoppers I was informed that all the money has been spent on a new transparent roof (big deal) and on extending the Centre.

The extension is not much and does look like a Chinatown with a lack of choice of eateries unless you are into noodles and rice. As for the fashions the new area hosts the cheap brands which are really not as good as either Diana Ferrari or Suzanne Grae. So go figure…

I do wonder if the Chinese tourists who are bussed in with their tour leaders are keen to see a replica of where they come from or would they prefer something more Australian?  After all,  if they have made the long journey from China surely they have come to see a different culture. Otherwise, why bother?

Anyhow,  when I visit Westfield’s Southland and Doncaster Shopping Malls I am always impressed by the effort that Westfield has gone to in order  to make the shoppers comfortable. Smart and numerous places to rest while shopping,  modernised and clean toilet facilites and a feeling of welcome is what I observe.

It  is a pleasure to walk around and enjoy our time spent shopping in these two centres.

Whereas the top floor in the Chadstone Mall is meant to attract the foreign (Chinese) visitors the truth is that these pretentious stores remain empty most of the time. The staff stand around  trying to look busy , but how much dusting can one do?  Occasionally, a group of Asian visitors are brought in to queue up outside the store and one by one they enter with the security guards monitoring them. It is certainly pretty embarrassing.

What a pity that the renovations at Chadstone have alienated the traditional shoppers  who were hoping for an improvement instead of the cheap bargain basement seating, lack of variety and hardly any Aussie  atmosphere.

My advice to the managers and owners of Chadstone is be kind to your shoppers,  treat them with respect and appreciate their value to your business. Take a lesson from Westfield.

Review of “Hampstead.” One Star or less!

I woke up this morning to the news that the Muslim terrorists have been at it again. This time it was in Barcelona.  What a bloody depressing and horrible world!

So to cheer myself up,  not that anything can really make one feel better after horrific events such as the atrocities carried out by jihadists this morning,  we decided that we should go to a movie. We chose one that would be “a feel good” sort of thing, one that would not cause more angst.

Quite frankly, I don’t really know why I chose “Hampstead’. The reviews of the movie were not good, but they sounded  patronising.  “The older members of society would probably enjoy a film like this” was the theme of most of the reviews. I interpreted these reviews as the oeuvre of some millenials with the shaved haircuts and torn jeans, so I jacked up and muttered.

“I refuse to be patronised by these twits!”

And that’s where I went wrong.

Alas, I should have heeded the warnings, patronising or not. Those reviews were correct.

“Hampstead” is so boring,  poorly cast,  predictable,  badly scripted and overacted that I think it should be compulsory viewing for those terrorists in Barcelona when they are finally caught. Make them watch “Hampstead'” over and over again until they beg to be shot. And then refuse to put them out of their misery, and set the film on continues play

Normally,  the Weinstein Company produces good cinema. Normally, Diane Keaton chooses sensible roles. Normally, James Norton would demand an impressive role such as he plays in “Grantchester”,  “Happy Valley” and “War and Peace.”

I cannot fathom why this film was released. Worse still, why any good actor accepted a role in it.

How Woolworths Australia is beating Coles

On October 17th 2015 I complained on my blog site that Woolworths is second to Coles in service, especially in the Deli section.

That is why I used to prefer shopping at Coles rather than in Woolworths

Now I’m happy to write that Woolworths has made a concerted effort to increase its sales by improving service and lowering its prices.

Some of its supermarkets have been renovated and I have to say it’s  a pleasure to  shop in our local store now. In spite of this supermarket not being larger  the aisles are wider, the products are extremely well displayed and the choice of products is extensive. I enjoy the selection of imports from Europe which give the supermarket a cosmopolitan feel.

Frankly, the store has become more classy and compares well with those specialist food stores where one can buy something a bit more interesting.

Surprisingly for such an upmarket store the prices are often cheaper than those in Coles, so good on Woolies for being more competitive and often on a par with Aldi’s prices.

Woolworths is now my favourite supermarket.


Sue Dunlevy at News Corp gives us the wrong info about Valium recall

My, how editing standards in reporting have gone down the drain.  Sue Dunlevy is the National Health Reporter for the News Corp Australia Network.  She really screwed up on June 10.

So where did she go wrong?  Well, she only gave us the incorrect facts about the Valpam (Valium)  recall from Arrow Pharmaceuticals.  The Valpam recall follows the earlier Valium recall by Roche. Dunlevy wrote that “Valpam in 55mg tablets sold in blister packs was being recalled by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.”

Notice her grave error?  55mg tablets!  How misleading is that mistake on her part!

People who possess 5mg Valpam would think they are safe,  and in my opinion, Dunlevy’s mistake is a very dangerous one.

We are talking about drug substitution and recall by the company.  So the least she could do is get her facts right.



Coles Australia makes lots of sense

I have often walked around our supermarkets and been amazed by the ridiculous number of products which are basically the same but take up so much room on the shelves.

How many varieties of  deodorants and shampoos and toilet paper do we really need?  Entire double aisles are taken up with pet food.  Organic,  gluten-free blah blah dog and cat food. It’s absolutely disgraceful  that we spoil our pets,  or more truthfully,  the pet owners to such an extent while many of the hungry people in impoverished countries  would be grateful to consume  the packaged processed food that we provide  for our pets.

Aldi has fewer lines and is doing very well in the real world. And now, mercifully,  so has Coles who have just announced that they are cutting down on superfluous lines such as multiple varieties of garbage bags and pasta sauce.

And guess what?  As a result of some sensible decisions by Coles sales in garbage bags and sauces have actually increased!

I applaud them for that decision. Not only do they limit conspicuous consumption but they also make life easier for those of us who are fed up with the paradox of choice.  I have often found,  when faced with a plethora of choices,  that I keep on walking past them unable to decide which of the products to buy.  Let’s face it,  there’s no benefit to all this variety when most of those products are pretty much the same stuff anyway  in different colour packaging.

Here’s hoping Woolworths follows suit.




John Oliver’s Genitals

I have tried to watch John Oliver’s programme, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” but today his pathetic descent into vulgarity turned me off completely.  How can a man be so obsessed with his penis? Is his appendage so ineffectual that he has to constantly remind himself that he has one?

Oliver has no class. He is crass and has the comedic sophistication of a toddler who pulls his pants down at kindergarten and announces to the world with a giggle  “Look at my wee wee….”

Oliver talks fast, bobs his head up and down like a clucking chicken and is a physical turn-off.

This is not to say that his topics are bad, however.  They are timely and his comments on events in America are quite interesting.  Unfortunately, the laughter sounds canned and every time he refers to someone’s testicles the audience guffaws into orgasmic hysteria.

All in all, he leaves a bad taste in my mouth and despite his popularity in some circles, the “populus vulgaris” is welcome to him.


Attention visitors to Melbourne! If you value honesty do not come here.

This is the fourth time that we have had our parked car damaged here in “Marvellous Melbourne” in eight years.  Had this happened in Queensland there would have been a note left on the car with an apology and the necessary information about the person who had damaged it.  I know this for sure, because that’s what happened in the Sunshine State.

It’s the decent way that Queenslanders behave.

Sadly,  Melbourne is not the place to be if you expect people to be considerate and honest when they damage your parked car.

In Melbourne there is a dog eat dog mentality.  Drivers are ruthless.  Mothers with their prams will rush blindly and scrape your car while they talk on their phones instead of looking where they are going. They will not use a pedestrian crossing  even if it’s a few metres away.

I must confess that a teeny weeny bit of me wishes they would trip as they chat to their BFF on the phone instead of paying attention to the traffic. But then I come to my senses and tell myself that that would turn me into a nasty Melbournian so I wait  in the car while the Mother of the Year crosses the road illegally.

You would expect that they would like to set a good example for their young children about crossing safely. But no, they don’t think about their kids being hurt. After all, it’s all about yummy mummy, isn’t it?

We have many ice addicts here, many home invasions,  many carjackings and many bashings in the street.

Come one come all. Melbourne, you’re standing in it!