Sep 20, 2013

Grand Theft Retail: why traditional retailers will continue doing it tough

Changes in consumer spending are going to go on clobbering the traditional retail business model, regardless of what the Aussie dollar does.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Grand Theft Auto

By the close of business today, thousands of people will have queued around 20 big, flashy Apple shops across the country and smaller telco outlets like Telstra’s shops to look at and then buy a new Apple iPhone 5. The hundreds of thousands of dollars they will spend today and into the following weeks will be money that won’t be spent in other retail outlets or activities.

And earlier this week, as many of us with teenagers will know, Grand Theft Auto V came out. It sold a record $US800 million worth in the first 24 hours in the US and Europe. Yes, $800 million! That’s more than all but the biggest Hollywood blockbuster movies make. Oh and by the way, new gaming consoles are coming from Microsoft and Sony later in the year. They’ll be accompanied by a new Call of Duty title. Expect similar numbers to GTA V — except the main interest in CoD titles is online multiplayer gaming, for which you need not only a quality broadband connection but also an Xbox or PlayStation subscription. In the June quarter, Microsoft earned US$1.7 billion from Xbox Live points.

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8 thoughts on “Grand Theft Retail: why traditional retailers will continue doing it tough

  1. Ruprecht

    Isn’t another factor affecting Aussie bricks-n-mortar retailers the high cost of leasing retail space in Australia, particularly capital cities?

    Is anyone out there recommending that we lower commercial lease rates?

    Gerry Harvey is a landlord, not a retailer.

  2. klewso

    Groan ups are funny aren’t they?
    Santa Claus isn’t real.
    The Easter Bunny isn’t real.
    The Tooth Fairy isn’t real.
    But Abbott’s aspirational promises are?

  3. Wexford

    The GST comment at the end is a bit wrong, don’t you think?

    WA contributes much more to Canberra in GST than what it receives back. How can you possibly claim that it would be the rest of Australia bailing WA out when the reverse is clearly the case?

    Don’t take this as a comment on the fairness (or otherwise) of GST distribution, just a scratching-of-the-head at your comment.

  4. zut alors

    And some of us have realised we don’t need lots of stuff. Simple.

  5. Mark out West

    It should be remembered that Bernard is part of that Eastern Seaboard cliche AKA “south sea poms” that think the sun shine out their p*sterior.

  6. Malcolm Street

    Actually Australia has a thriving computer games industry.

  7. ksharma

    “The remaining mortgages are held by owner-occupiers, and upwards of 60% of these are repaying their mortgages faster than they should.”

    What does this mean? Faster than they should if they want to support the retail sector? Or faster than they should for their own financial benefit?

  8. Xoanon

    Australia’s sky-high retail rents will have to drop at some point. It’s supply and demand – the Internet has basically added a load more shopfronts, so the cost of leasing the current (bricks and mortar) ones will have to fall. I hope, anyway.

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