Richard Goyder says policymakers have yet to fully appreciate the threat of the online retail revolution. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Relentless dismantling of traditional retail

ANALYSIS: The point of no return may have already been reached for bricks-and-mortar retailers struggling to compete with the online experience. 


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Good article Tim. It is also important to mention that not all online retailers are doing well, and many are doing badly. It is one of the paradoxes of the online world - whilst it appears there are few barriers to entry, the reality is that good businesses need good systems, good people and substantial resources to scale fast. Nothing new there, except the continually evolving concept of scale. Technology, online marketing and customer expectations are evolving quickly and most smaller online players can't keep up. Big data is not well used by small businesses. Some larger businesses learn to do well, and they grow. They gobble up others, and the big get bigger. Amazon is widely used as the example of online success. The thing that scares most Aussie retailers is not just their lack of price competitiveness with Amazon. Most cannot compete with Amazon's smart use of smart technology.

Geraldton WA
As a retailer involved in a 20-store furniture retail group in WA, I am very concerned at the lack of acknowledgement by our three tiers of government regarding the catastrophic risk of online offshore retailers trading virtually untaxed into our consumer market. A mass of businesses providing local goods, services and jobs will be gone forever before our governments act to stop this. If they levy or tax these 'onliners' to the point that it is competitively fair for the bricks-and-mortar retailers, then we can have the best of both worlds.

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