AUSTRALIA'S ‘bricks and mortar’ retail industry experienced a challenging 2020. Now, new research from a leading parcel delivery service reveals the solutions retailers believe will help the entire retail industry bounce back this year.
The findings come from an independent survey of 172 Australian retailers, commissioned by CouriersPlease (CP).
When CP asked retailers about their own recovery, a third (36 percent) said they would be able to recover to pre-pandemic levels between July and December this year. Just a quarter (24 percent) revealed their recovery could be in July. Thirteen percent said their recovery would depend on restrictions lifting completely, and 8 percent said recovery would take place after 2021.
CP then presented retailers with a list of potential solutions that could help the retail industry recover faster – including an extension of the JobKeeper scheme and tax incentives from the government. CP asked retailers to choose what they think the industry needs to bounce back once social restrictions are removed. Respondents could choose multiple answers.
The majority of retailers (42 percent) believe an effective treatment or vaccine is needed, 34 percent said further government assistance to help them pay employee salaries, such as an extension of the JobKeeper scheme; 27 percent said tax incentives from the government; and 17 percent believe further cashback incentives from the government are necessary for the industry’s recovery.
One fifth (22 percent) of retailers said a recovery would require more cash for consumers to help boost their confidence. Consumer confidence fell by 27 percent when social restrictions were enforced last year.
Paul Roper, chief commercial officer at CP said, "The retail industry has a long way to go to recovery. While e-commerce has remained strong, many bricks and mortar retailers were forced to close their doors last year. The end of JobKeeper in March, a slow rollout of the NSW Government’s Dine and Discovery voucher scheme and continuing COVID cases across the country, including the recent spike in cases in Melbourne, are just a few of the factors that could lead to cautious consumer spending this year.
“I encourage these retailers to consider shifting to, or growing, their online or omnichannel offering as more Australians become comfortable with online shopping. A number of support measures remain at retailers’ disposal, including the SME Guarantee Scheme and the instant asset write-off scheme.”
The full survey results, including breakdowns across organisation size and industries, can be found here: couriersplease.com.au/Portals/0/CP_Retail_Industry_White_Paper_230221.pdf
 Roy Morgan, March 2020 roymorgan.com/findings/8340-anz-roy-morgan-consumer-confidence-march-24-2020-202003232236