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Is Australian retail simply too competitive?

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
15 February 2018 1 minute readShare
Crowded, stand out, umbrella, unique

Suggestions have surfaced that the dwindling profitability of the retail sector is the result of an excessive number of retailers operating in a crowded marketplace.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) put forward the idea recently, using the case of Myer as a prime example. The department store has seen its share price crash amid falling foot traffic and lower than expected sales figures.

Just six months ago, Myer announced its sales had posted a slight fall in net profit last financial year, and announced plans to ramp up closure of stores nationally.

“Since the launch of New Myer in September 2015, we have closed or announced the closure of 74,670m2 of store space overall,” Myers CEO and managing director Richard Umbers said at the time, adding: “We will not be renewing leases at Colonnades, Belconnen and Hornsby.”

Since the AFR originally published its article, Myer’s CEO fell on his sword and announced he had quit the retailer.

It comes after a horror year for the retail sector more broadly, with many high-profile retailers calling in the administrators, including Oroton, Lover Clothing, Marcs, Rhodes & Beckett and Herringbone.

And earlier this month, a Sydney-based manufacturer and retailer fell into administration after almost 70 years in business.

Insolvency figures were also on the up in 2017, with the June quarter alone posting a concerning 28 per cent spike in the number of cases.

So, as business owners, we wanted to ask you what you think. Are there too many retailers vying for a limited number consumer dollars? Is retail simply a high-profile example of the competitive and technological pressures facing all industries? Tell us below or email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Is Australian retail simply too competitive?
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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