Australian Retailers: to put up or shut up?
Published 2011 | By Emma Reid
The National Retail Association has named a tax loophole to blame for enticing fashion die-hards to shop online which is sending retailers bust.
Aussie consumers are drawn to the lack of import duty, customer charges, and GST associated with their international online purchases as store sales dropped 1.82% in recent months according to the NRA.
It seems that only Western Australia is reporting sales productivity, while most other states are almost shutting up shop.
Colorado, the Just Group, GAP, and Borders have all publicly felt the sting as store after store lower their doors.
In light of this, our savvy retailers need to spark a strong cyber presence in the market, and Australian online retailers such as Bird Motel are doing just that.
According to company director, Erin Moore, her innovative strategy lies in Bird Motel’s selling point.
“We are found online by people searching for the brands that we carry, so it’s about having popular brands that people are searching online for.”
In order to combat international competition like ASOS, Erin carries only Australian brands to appeal to a loyal market and keeps up with emerging brands to ensure customers flock to her site first.
This competitive edge, teamed with great customer service and a good returns policy, is winning over locals every sales period. When it comes to shop fronts Australian favourite, Mossman, credits a personal touch in store to their success.
“Excellent customer service and face-to-face interaction allow us to interact close and personal with customers,” says Market City store manager, Liza Azcarraga.
A real customer connection and student promotions keep their young demographic coming in for generous fashion discounts.
Store managers, Sam Aitcheson and Maria Ermides from Mossman Jindalee store say social media is one of their strongest selling points.
Aitcheson says this is the key to their success because they can compete with other online retailer’s marketing strategies.
“I guess the main advantage for online retailers is that it’s easier for them to market themselves,” says Aitcheson.
“It’s not enough to just have good merchandise in retail these days, you also have to be a brand ambassador and reach as many potential customers as possible.
Especially with online competition overseas, it’s really important that we keep providing a great in-store experience.”
With competitive deals and sales training reviewed weekly, Mossman do their best to provide a great in-store experience.
Photography by Emma Reid