Retail Reality Is About To Bite.

There is an enormous amount of hype and propaganda surrounding e-commerce. But all the noise can’t mask the numbers. In the United States – according to the U.S. Commerce Department – online sales now represent 8.1% of all retail sales and last year online sales grew at 14.63% compared to all retail sales growth of 3.3% and US$5.5 trillion in total sales. Amazon alone represented more than 50% of the growth in online sales and their growth rate last year was 25.2% on revenue of US$90 billion. Sounds impressive. Until you compare it to….surprise, surprise – Walmart.

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Why Are Retail Analysts & Media Commentators So Damn Negative?

This week retail analysts and media commentators hit an all time high on the stupidity meter when they claimed a “retail recession” is upon us. When oh when are these idiots going to understand that retail doesn’t work month-to-month it works year on year. The pure economic definition of a recession doesn’t hold up when applied to retail sales numbers. According to ABS data March 2017 is 2.5% better than March 2016. Look it up. This has been the trend consistently now for about a year.

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Is BIGW Destined To Become Small?

When Wesfarmers bought Coles Group in 2007, BIGW was far more profitable that K-Mart. Aldi was a bit player. CostCo hadn’t opened its first store. Target was the most profitable department store (discount or otherwise) in the country. Online players were not yet a substantial threat. Most of the international brands and global e-commerce players were either not yet here or were making a minor impact.

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When ‘Spyware’ Is A Great Thing.

In a recent survey of American retailers fifty seven per cent said they were currently implementing RFID (radio frequency identification) systems, a further nineteen per cent said that they would complete their RFID systems this year and a further ten per cent would complete their rollout within two years. That’s a staggering eighty six per cent of all retailers in the United States. Currently more than forty seven per cent of all items that run through recognised logistics systems in America carry RFID tags.

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Liars, Tax Cheats & Bullies – The Cynical World of Global E-Commerce Players.

According to newspaper reports e-Bay, Amazon, Alibaba and other major global e-commerce brands are threatening to geo-block Australian consumers from purchasing products on their websites if the Australian government introduces compulsory GST collection on all purchases – extending the application below the current AUD$1,000 threshold. If that is true and they are trying to use media pressure to force the government to back down on the application of a domestic tax policy that every Australian abides by, then I for one would be happy to be geo-blocked.

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It’s All A Matter of Judgement.

The last few months I have been confronted with several occasions that have demonstrated why not all retailers are equal. Moments where it is very clear what separates the real merchants from the ‘professional managers’. And every one of these moments has been about the decision making required to show leadership. I know it is fashionable and politically correct to support the notion that anyone can be taught how to be creative and lead. I personally think that is rubbish.

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