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New RFG chief begins, Brumby’s new format launched

Brumby's GoRetail Food Group (RFG) has created a new chief executive role to oversee the embattled Australian store network that includes Donut King, Gloria Jean’s and Brumby’s Bakery.

RFG on Monday said Richard Hinson, a former executive at supermarkets wholesaler Metcash and confectionary maker Wrigley Pacific, has been hired for the role to help improve support for franchisees.

The company’s shares have halved in value since media reports first emerged in early December accusing RFG of running franchisees into the ground with high costs and a lack of support.

“One of the primary objectives of that review is to find ways to better support our franchisees to ensure their businesses remain profitable and sustainable in a challenging retail market,” said RFG managing director Andre Nell.

Hinson has a wealth of experience in supply chain and customer service in the food sector and will assist in the business wide review of the group’s operations.

“Richard has been brought on board to assist with the review and lead implementation of key recommendations which result from it,” added Nell.

On Tuesday, RFG-owned Brumby’s Bakery announced the launch of a new store concept, dubbed Brumby’s GO, on the Gold Coast. The brand’s existing Harbour Town and new Stockland’s Burleigh Heads stores recently unveiled the new look stores, designed for busy shopping centres.

“We think both stores will be appealing to customers, especially as the layouts and products have been designed with convenience and accessibility in mind,” said Brumby’s Bakery general manager, David Dinnes.

“With a smaller footprint and lower entry cost alternative to conventional inline bakery opportunities, we also believe they’re a great option for a first time buyers or as an additional trade outlet for existing franchise partners.”

This story was first published on Inside Retail.

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