Max Brenner sign of broader trend, analysts warn

Max Brenner is the latest casualty in the struggling food retail market, following the lead of collapsed retailers such as Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurants, said retail analysts at IBISWorld.

IBISWorld senior industry analyst Bao Vuong noted that the collapse of Max Brenner is likely just the beginning of a broader trend, as the range of food options continues to grow and the market becomes over-saturated.

“Competitive pressures and rising costs will likely force a number of smaller players and some larger operators to exit the industry,” Vuong said.

“However, this will be offset by an influx of new players in niche markets and cuisines that are not as yet saturated such as Middle Eastern cuisine and Mexican food.”

Vuong pointed out that the fast food, takeaway and restaurant industries are only expected to grow slightly over the next five years years due to this rising competition, placing more businesses at risk of meeting the same fate.

This issue extends beyond just the fast food and restaurant business, however, with Vuong adding that department stores, clothing retailers and toy and game retailers are likely to face similar pressures in the coming years – with Harris Scarfe, Espirit and Toys R Us being notable examples.

Moving forward, Max Brenner is looking to liquidate its assets after a deal to sell the business to investment company Tozer & Co fell through late last week according to BDO Australia, which confirmed it had explored a transaction with the firm, but that it had ultimately fallen through.

“We had a plan and a vision to restore the chain to profitability and to save the jobs of staff, but the commercial roadblocks and impediments were insurmountable,” Tozer & Co managing director David Tozer said.

“We thought we were very close to an agreement with the liquidators on Thursday morning but the requirements changed as the day progressed such that we were unfortunately left with no alternative but to move on.”

Tozer pointed out that at a time when the Australian retail industry is under enormous pressure to retain its commercial viability, it is “extremely disappointing” that a deal couldn’t be reached, and that he hoped another deal will be found elsewhere.

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    Vic Cherikoff posted on October 23, 2018

    From a consumer's point of view up here on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, the choice of dining experiences are way too narrow. Some food I can cook at home and not risk food poisoning from chefs with filthy aprons and licked fingers in sauces or while arranging plated food. Other outlets are just so uninspiring that there just is no point paying for poorly considered, amateur-assembled and just ordinary food. Then there's the rarified food in establishments where the owners are clearly wanting to retire in months on my bill or one place off the beaten track that scribbles the total bill charged on a scrap of paper torn from a pad. No itemization. No cross-check as to correctness. Nothing but a figure. This might be OK back home in the village in Europe but not here, surely? Restaurant incomes must be related to the carrying capacity of the land. Too many people, too few good eateries mean crowded, hard to book establishments that drive people back home. Look around and you'll see full to brimming outlets next door to culinary deserts where only the owner's family eats. And what is it about the noise in restaurants? Maybe it is a case of ageing but the din in so many places is so loud you end up hoarse from screaming at your tablemates. These places have me visit twice - the first and last time - but only paying once. Then there's the license fee for served alcohol. Nice that the Government pensions fund gets a generous donation from this source but it makes dining out a very much more expensive affair and for no good reason. Time to re-evaluate this money for nothing rort by politicians too. And lastly, the Australian cuisine outlets are still so thin on the ground that the recent Royal couple had to go to Melbourne to give wild food a go. Maybe if the use of our indigenous food and the contribution from Indigenous Chefs was more common, then the tourism industry would have something to promote instead of Alan Jones' equine offspring being screened on the Sydney Sails House. reply

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