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Retail Industry

Do you shop online?

Simon Curtain
Partner/Private Client Adviser
2 Dec 2013

Over the past few years, Australians have had a tough ride with the Global Financial Crisis, European Debt Crisis and fears of America going under.

The typical Aussie’s response to this uncertainty has been to rein in spending and increase savings.

Unfortunately, the Retail Industry is one of the first to suffer during such times as people realise the clothes they have in their wardrobes can last an extra season or two, and the TV in the lounge room is still good for a few more years.

However, research shows consumer confidence is approaching a three year high, and with Christmas just around the corner things are starting to improve for the retail industry. But before we celebrate, there is another monster lurking in the corner: online shopping.

Australian Communications and Media Authority figures show 62 per cent of adult internet users have used the internet to purchase goods and services, and around one in five online purchases were made via an overseas based site.

To add further salt to the wound, the Government has delayed the decision to lower the GST-threshold on imported goods worth less than $1,000 until March next year. The National Retail Association wants shoppers to be charged GST on overseas purchases worth more than $20.

Is online-shopping the death knell for traditional bricks and mortar retailers?

Online shopping has been around for many years, but has recently experienced a boom as consumers become more internet savvy and are willing to do the research to find the best deals on goods and services.

Small and medium businesses in Australia have responded to this change, with an estimated 59 per cent taking online orders from customers. I would argue the future of the retail industry in Australia relies on its ability to adapt to changed consumer spending habits, by offering both in-store and online shopping options to customers.

 

Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.