Confectionery sales wake up

What went wrong with Darrell Lea? I have read many observations such as the general state of retail, bad management, owners taking too much out of the till, etc.

One matter I think is important is despite the chocolate market going up 2.2% annually in Australia from 2007-2012, Darrell Lea sales have fallen over the same period 20%.

Much of this is because people are going now for more up-market chocolates such as Guylian, Lindt and Max Brenner. Darrell Lea is being left behind but they are not the only ones.

Take a look here at a graph of sweets sales in a country, inner city and suburban newsagency during the same period.

Sweet sales in newsagency

As you can see sweets in newsagencies are following the same trend as Darrell Lea. Why it is not being noticed is because sweets are a minor department in many newsagenies.

This downward trend in a growing market is not right. Newsagents need to see Darrell Lea as a wake-up call for their own confectionery market. What I suggest is look at their product mix because clearly in many newsagencies, what they have is not selling like it used to.

This is an example of how you can use the sales reports in our system to monitor what is happening.

Update: Getting back to Darrell Lea. It has much value in the market place, but it needs to change. It clearly will not remain in the marketplace as a middle-range chocolate supplier. It will go either up or down. Say the buyers are a mass-market supermarket operation they would want to use Darrel Lea to expand their market share. They do not need many of the company stores and franchises. Alternately if the buyer wants to go up, they would need to refit some of the shops and get rid of many of them as they do not need that many. In both case there will be major changes to the product mix! Both scenarios require a big commitment and a lot of money!

What is clear is that it will be a different company from what it is presently with different products. It will also mean that many newsagents that stock Darrell Lea will change.