Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has lost almost $973 million after booking $1.9 billion in write-downs on hardware store Masters’ disastrous descent.
Chairman Gordon Cairns has stepped aside from his position after announcing the supermarket’s large loss. Brad Banducci, who headed the group’s supermarkets division, has been appointed the company’s new chief executive despite calls from many investors for new blood to be recruited into the struggling behemoth.
Liberal MP Mal Brough bows out
Liberal MP Mal Brough will not recontest his seat of Fisher at the next election. The announcement marks Mr Brough’s exit from politics after an embattled year of investigations regarding his involvement in the fall of former speaker Peter Slipper.
Mr Brough said it had been a “privilege and an honour” to represent his electorate.
Dick Smith to close all stores and axe 3,000 staff
All Dick Smith stores are set to close across Australia and New Zealand in the next eight weeks following the receivers’ failure to sell the business. About three thousand Dick Smith employees will lose their jobs as more than 300 stores close. Sam Kingston, an employee, told media “I’m devastated that I’m losing a job I’ve loved ever since starting it, but it’s even harder to think about those employees who’s livelihood and family depended on this job.”
The founder, who sold his company 30 years ago, has no interest in buying back the rights to his name. “I wouldn’t look at buying back the name but I’m incredibly angry about the utter dishonesty of Anchorage Capital and I hope ASIC and the Senate Inquiry do something about them,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Jalal brothers mock Victorian Police following their arrest
Melbourne’s Jalal brothers, who released prank videos on YouTube depicting public reactions to fake acts of terrorism, have mocked Victorian police after charges were laid against them. The brothers, who were reprimanded by TV host Waleed Aly on the Project this week for their crass behaviour, were later charged with public nuisance and possession of a prohibited weapon. On their Facebook page the brothers wrote: “Was it really all worth it? When there’s worse things going on in the world, bigger crimes being committed.”
Buy a pet this weekend! RSPCA holds fire sale
Over the next four days, animals ranging from cats, dogs and rabbits to horses and more will be offered for $29 or less across Australia’s RSPCA shelters and care centres. The sale runs from February 26 to 29 with an aim to “clear the shelter”. – Compiled from online sources by Jessica Staveley
Photo of Woolworths by James Mott.