Thursday 1 September 2011

SBS Insight - Has the traditional retailer had its day?

Tuesday night’s TV show involved retailers, shopping centre owners and customers in a discussion on the future of retailing. If you missed it, there will be a repeat on Friday 8:30pm SBS TWO and Monday 2:30pm SBS ONE.
Many issues were discussed and we have selected a number of comments from the SBS website to give a feel for the issues that affect us all.
The problem with Retail in Australia - Australian Retailers are affected by their lack of awareness of the impact of online, poor customer service and lack of focus on the importance of the customer and the lack of skill that is needed by a canny retailer. They need to adopt the essence of a great retail business and adapt to the new market. They need to put the magic back into retail! + 18 agree  - 2 disagree
Made in Ethics - Honestly, how much 'stuff' do we need? I'm sick of updating all my technology, wardrobe and look every other season just so I can be part of the template society. I'm also tired of being let down by cheap Chinese-made items. I don't need designer labels. I don't need toxic synthetics produced in highly polluted areas. For me it's about ethics from now on. Turning hippie :) + 25 agree  - 0 disagree
The real issues - The problems facing retailers are complex and no one issue or fact is totally responsible. Australia has some of the worst Customer Service in the World. So while all these external factors are contributing Retailers themselves have to stop expecting the government to bail them out and start making it a pleasure to shop again. I know I'd rather walk into a shop and touch and feel a product, but these days I might as well buy on line as its probably better service as well as being cheaper.+ 4 agree   - 1 disagree
End of retail It's wrong to blame the downturn in retail on online shopping.We sell gourmet quality food products and have no competition from overseas, yet our turnover fell by 60% in 2009 and has continued downwards since then although at a slower rate.The big electrical retailers arent helping.They are encouraging customers to spend their 2014 income now.Its also wrong to compare store prices here with warehouse prices overseas.The warehouses have low overheads no sales staff and less generous conditions. + 2 agree  - 1 disagree
Retail I have been assessing customer service via mystery shopping for the last year and generally it is good as are product choices and store presentation I believe the costs blowouts are not a result of taxes but can be firmly blamed on the actual property owners not the leesees. The rents retailers pay are beyond belief even small stores are charged ridiculous rents which need to be factored into the price of goods. Once again it is the landlords who everyone works for. + 14 agree  - 0 disagree