The reasons behind the downturn of the fortunes of some fashion retailers are many and complex, but that’s not to say that there aren’t key factors in play. Customer service is king, but a new study indicates that just as Australian retail moves back to 1960s growth levels, many Australian shoppers regard service as a thing equally of the past.

Forty-four percent of respondents to Synovate Retail Performance’s “How Do We Shop” Australian survey, which is due to be published next month, blamed either rude or pushy retail staff for undermining their shopping experience, with a further 22 percent complaining about lazy staff.

Naturally, poor customer service isn’t the only problem highlighted by Australian shoppers in the survey. But it is a major point given that great customer service, where the experience of shopping is the focus, would do much to cause shoppers to overlook the survey’s other finding: 13% of respondents suggested that goods in Australia are overpriced.

Frankly, that 13% of people feel that lower prices would improve Australian retail surprises me. I thought by now everyone was aware that, for the most part, goods are cheaper online than in store. But perhaps the retailer-drive hysteria of “e-commerce will cause the death of the High Street” is little more than a Chicken Little attitude with some laurel resting thrown in for good measure.



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He was 5 when his teacher wrote on his report card “Daniel can’t sit still.” Taking it as a compliment, he’s been on the go ever since. Having flown over 590,000 kilometres in a single year (2012), he’s done much to push the boundaries of a fashioniser, always looking to fold one extra Tom Ford suit into his set of Samsonite cases and for one extra occasion to tie a tie for. As much an editor-at-large as he is’s Editor-in-chief, when he's not travelling to all the fashion weeks his passports will allow him to, Daniel works on guiding this publication’s editorial and trend views. He is one of’s co-founders.

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