Jan 9, 2013

Poor retail a local experience, as global magnates get bigger

While Australian retailers struggle with technology, the poor performance appears to be a local problem, rather than a retail problem, as some of the world's biggest retailers provided in 2012.

Adam Schwab — Business director and commentator

Adam Schwab

Business director and commentator

Few sectors generate as much notoriety (and as much wealth) as the retail sector. But while once high-flying Australian retailers struggle to cope with the changing face of the sector, globally, the story has been very different.

Along with manufacturing and media, Australia retailers have largely borne witness to collapsing, rather than expanding, fortunes. Perhaps most notably has been the destruction of Gordon Merchant’s Billabong empire. In 2007, Merchant’s stake in Billabong was worth more than $1 billion. Today, that holding is valued at around $60 million (it is unknown whether Merchant has any debt attached to his interest).

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2 thoughts on “Poor retail a local experience, as global magnates get bigger

  1. drmick

    Buy another horse and slag the poor Mr Hardly Normal; working a treat at the registers.
    I still ring Gerry to get a quote to take to the Good Guys or Dick Smith to beat.

  2. mook schanker

    It’s not primarily technology but rather lazy Australian retailers profit taking instead of bothering to spend capital on invigorating their business model in new directions.

    Sure it’s difficult to compete with global big players, but these were also all smaller local retailers at one stage in their lifecycle…

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