THE bulky goods retail sector has been hit hard by people buying on the internet. Televisions and washing machines are sold at bricks-and-mortar stores but smaller appliances can be easily sourced online.
The high dollar and planning restrictions for developments have also put pressure on the sector.
However, potential changes to the goods and services tax on internet purchases, as was suggested this week, would be welcomed by the retail industry.
The founder and executive chairman of Harvey Norman, Gerry Harvey, has been an outspoken advocate of imposing a GST on imported goods bought on the internet, in order to give local retailers a more level playing field.
Retail analysts at JPMorgan say they continue to believe the short- to medium-term outlook remains challenging for Australian discretionary retailers.
”The reasons we see risk skewed to the downside include a more purposeful and considered consumer, and increased volatility and uncertainty associated with the global economic environment,” the analysts say in a post-profit results report.
”Rising cost of living for the consumer, increased propensity of natural disasters and global geopolitical uncertainty, and rising competition threats posed by technology and the web will also be influencing factors.”
However, leasing agents say that despite flat retail trading, demand for regional bulky goods tenancies has been strong during the first half of this year.
This positive sentiment was supported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics retail sales data for July, which show that household goods sales increased 4 per cent, following 1.3 per cent growth in May and 1.4 per cent growth in June.
Household retailing represents 17 per cent of total retail trade.
The senior negotiator of retail bulky goods at CBRE, Shane Cook, said the majority of bulky goods lease deals done this year were in regional NSW.
He said most demand was from local independents and company-backed national retailers, with CBRE agreeing terms or completing leases on eight recent deals totalling 9459 square metres across regional NSW.
”Demand for regional bulky goods retail space can be attributed to a number of factors, including a prolonged period of minimal drought in the state, the strong rally of the Australian dollar and the revival of some regional centres,” Mr Cook said.
”In contrast, low vacancy and limited new stock has resulted in little tenant movement or new store openings in metropolitan Sydney.”
Among the recent regional deals, Loot Homewares has taken up 322 square metres on a five-year term within the West Gosford Hometown centre, while Beds R Us has committed to 822 square metres in the same centre, also on a five-year term.
”The bulky goods landscape is changing, with tenancy mixes far more diversified than they were previously,” Mr Cook said. ”Retailers breathing new life into bulk-goods centres include outdoor retailers, pet retailers, speciality homewares, manchester and bulk chemists.”
Further north, Beds R Us has joined the strong mix of local and national retailers at the Hunter Supa Centre in Rutherford, which is owned by Centuria Property Funds.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.