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The upper hand is on the other foot!

  • Opinion
  • February 8, 2017
  • Paul Keane
The upper hand is on the other foot!

Last week came the revelation that Nosh had been sold, to a company very recently formed called "Gosh". The name must have been a quick brainstorm after the new owners had recovered from what the decision! It's all a bit strange, and furthermore what does the sale of the company mean for the franchised Constellation Drive store, which is attempting to cut its ties from the Nosh Group?

As we predicted just recently, 2017 will continue to be challenging for Nosh.

There will have to be some smart marketing undertaken to prevent the brand from succumbing to a deteriorating consumer patronage.

Meantime it has been a difficult time for Veritas, with the share price well down on where it was six months ago - although there's been a bit of a lift since the Nosh sale was announced. I suggest the one major remaining brand, The Mad Butcher, could also find it a tough time. Keeping the company afloat will be a major undertaking for the board, who to date, have found the going difficult.

It was also interesting to see that Hannahs and Number One Shoes finally have new owners, although it's been an unusual path getting to this point. Hellaby Holdings, which owned the footwear retailers along with various other businesses, had been trying to sell out of the retail business for some time.

In fact, what has actually happened is that Hellaby Holdings itself has been bought out, by ASX-listed company Bapcor. Bapcor is an automotive parts distributor, and they have been interested in Hellaby for that reason; they're not any more interested in keeping hold of Hannahs and Number One Shoes than Hellaby was.

What this will mean for the footwear stores will be interesting. Bapcor will most likely try to position the chains for sale, but Hellaby had already been doing this for some time.

Maybe another merger is in the wind for 2017. 

Memories of 2016 emerge, when Dick Smith fell under the wheels of commercial erosion!

Paul Keane is a registered property professional and has vast experience in New Zealand’s commercial property industries. He provides retail and property consultancy including development management to many New Zealand property owners, developers and city councils. This post originally appeared on RCG's blog.

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