Paul's Blog

Hope for an Australian retail renaissance August 4, 2013 20:51

I believe that Australia stands on the cusp of a retail Renaissance, by which both retailer and customer will benefit.

Australian retail is at an inflection point. While many may claim we are witnessing our darkest days in the industry, there is also every sign that this country is on the verge of a significant retail Renaissance.

It was Thomas Friedman the Pulitzer Prize winner and futurist who, back in 2005, claimed that the world was flat. Just as tellingly he summed up his key thesis to business in a few sobering words:

“You are either doing it, or it is being done to you.” Read more...

New Retail requires consolidation, not fragmentation July 16, 2013 20:47

On the 2nd of July, in an interview in the Australian Financial Review, Bernie Brookes, CEO of Myer, bemoaned the fact that there are too many retail associations in Australia.

I agree with him.

I would argue though that the plethora of retail industry associations is a symptom. A symptom of a fragmented retail landscape in Australia. I would argue that the origins of the current situation lies in how Australian retail has responded to a sustained and challenging period of structural change and disruption. Read more...

Scammers: are online retailers being victimised? June 20, 2013 20:45

Let me start off by saying that I commend and congratulate the ACCC for its many initiatives aimed at protecting consumers from the ever-present danger of online scams.

As a peak industry body, the National Online Retailers Association (NORA) is committed to contributing in anyway it can to this cause, to participate in education and policy development with regulators and law enforcement and so protecting Australian consumers. After all, the new retail in Australia has a strong online footprint, and we want Australian shoppers to have a great experience shopping online. The fact that this channel is growing so quickly means – in many cases – they already are.

I was pleased to join a panel discussion in Melbourne on Tuesday, June 18, at the ACCC’s conference: Outsmarting Scammers, Staying Safe When Shopping Online. Read more...

Stand up and be counted – join the online retail race March 15, 2013 19:43

I have never been as excited, as I am now, about the potential for consumer direct, online retail in Australia. I have been privileged to have been an early mover in online retail in Australia, and this is well and truly our time!

The convergence of circumstances is pointing the tide fairly and squarely in our direction. The strong Australian dollar, a return to ‘value’ by consumers (frugal is well and truly the new ‘cool’), improvements in consumer direct logistics and supply chain, traditional bricks and mortar retailers (finally) getting online, the emergence of some powerful local pure play Australian retailers, improving customer experience, time poor consumers flocking to the ‘convenience’ piece of the consumer direct model, the list goes on. There has never been a better time for e-commerce entrepreneurs to up the ante, and for so called traditional retailers to embrace the digital channel. Read more...

Retailer’s perspective: pushing the pedal to the metal for survival March 12, 2013 19:41

The last month has not been a good one in terms of news from consumer electronics retailers. WOW Sight and Sound has gone into administration and looks likely to be closed, Dick Smith has put up the ‘for sale’ sign and Gerry Harvey has pared back his estimates around online sales and consumer electronics (CE) volumes. What does that mean for the DealsDirect Group, and to any entrepreneur with fire in the belly? – OPPORTUNITY! Read more...