Former Victorian political leader Jeff Kennet touches on rise of online retail in Australia in an opinion piece for the Herald Sun today. And in a country where the cost of living is comparatively high, he’s right to see the problems that overseas online retail poses – it’s going to do a lot of damage to Australia’s high streets and shopping centres. Their make up will change forever.
The lure of bargains and the use of modern technology will ultimately condemn many Australians to unemployment, many retail properties to falling values, and our super funds to reduced returns.The new paradigm of retailing has only just arrived. The real challenge is to hang on for the ride and brace for the fallout.
The last sentence is where he’s wrong, however. Australia Inc. shouldn’t be hanging on. To dumb it down: without massive tariffs or a move away from a globalised world, it’s over. The mass retailer’s fight is already lost as a lot of them only now realise the game they were playing has changed.
Instead Australia’s industry captains need to look for ways to create the next opportunities. As the likes of Net-a-porter and ASOS gain more and more market share in Australia despite operating from overseas, the old models are dead and ‘bracing ourselves’ won’t do. Australia needs to find its next economic models.
Via the Herald Sun.