“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
– Alan Watts

As we start a new financial year, I thought it worthwhile to draw breath and take a snapshot on the landscape in our country for retail, with thanks to RDG Insights and our friends at Deloitte.

There are five key trends that are currently reshaping retail and creating a new, competitive retail landscape. These are travel retailing, mobile retailing, faster retailing, experience retailing, and innovative retailing.

Some of this retail is disruptive and innovative, while other forms are refinements of existing retail that has never really left us. They all rely on a physical presence to maximise their model, and they all bring newness to our marketplace.

Deloitte’s list of the top 250 global retailers highlights the following pertinent points:

  • Fast food and FMCG retailers continue to dominate the Top 250 list in terms of both the number and size of companies. The growth is not evenly dispersed though, with food and hospitality retail providing the growth over the period.
  • Despite rapid growth in e-commerce, only two pure-play e-tailers were large enough to rank among the Top 250. That’s less than one per cent. In other words, of the world’s top 250 retailers, 99 per cent had physical shops in their network.
  • International expansion remains an important growth strategy for many retailers, especially as our local environment becomes increasingly congested with growing markets offshore.
  • The continued globalisation of the Australian retail market is a familiar trend, and one that shows no signs of slowing down. We are now operating in an environment where change and greater competition have become the norm, with 49 per cent of the 250 top retailers operating in Australia dominated by US retailers.

All of this points towards interesting times for retail – and serves as a reminder to stay sharply focused, differentiated, and replicable.

Brian Walker is founder and CEO of Retail Doctor Group. Brian can be contacted on (02) 9460 2882 or brian@retaildoctor.com.au

 

First published on July 15th, 2015 on Inside Retail