The retail and wholesale industries are a major contributor to the strength of the Australian economy, providing quality goods and strong consumer safeguards to Australians.
Retail businesses sell or distribute goods–everything from groceries to clothing to electronics and furniture–at both “bricks and mortar” retailers (department stores, SMEs, high-street stores, etc) and domestic online e-tailers. Wholesalers distribute merchandise to anyone who is not a standard consumer, in other words retailers and other business users.
The retail sector in Australia is currently undergoing massive changes due to globalisation and its effects on domestic retail trade. Consumer adoption of global online shopping has meant that Australian retailers are increasingly competing with overseas retailers.
A strengthening Australian dollar coupled with high levels of consumer confidence in international e-tailers has resulted in Australian retailers finding themselves exposed to significant pressure.
Making matters more challenging, the highly fragmented structure of the Australian retail/wholesale industry has led to a proliferation of traders and increased domestic competition. It’s not surprising that economists are forecasting static, limited growth in the sector.
The regulatory environment also affects retailers’ business models and therefore their viability. For example, government taxes and duties at the importation stage create a significant disadvantage to Australian retailers compared to international ones. The country’s overall economic conditions (debt levels, credit card use, unemployment, housing values, etc) also impact on consumers’ levels of discretionary spending, while other challenges exist for the sector, too, such as risk management (especially relating to fraud and cybercrime), and a skills shortage in its labour force.
The upside of a globalised shopping economy, of course, is that Australian retailers have great potential to embrace global trading opportunities and multi-channel selling strategies.
Within this landscape, we assist retail businesses of all kinds with restructuring and turnaround management to aid competitiveness and increase profits.
We advise on operational performance improvement strategy and evolve your traditional retail business model to assist you to meet the challenges of the globalised, digital era and maximise the commercial opportunities for your retail business.