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Message from the CEO: 27 June 2017

June 27, 2017

Australian retailers will have to wait another year before the GST-free threshold is removed for online purchases bought from overseas, after the Federal Government passed an amendment to the Bill, proposed by the Labor Party, for the Productivity Commission to conduct a short inquiry on implementation, as well as other GST collection models, before next July.

While we’re disappointed for the Australian retail community right now, it’s also important to note that good governance and effective policy takes considerable time and meticulous planning, particularly one with as many complexities as this one.

There’s no point rolling this out prematurely, and while this delay is far from ideal for retailers, it should at least give everyone involved enough time to prepare, and find the best ways to implement the changes.

Come July 1, 2018, both Australian and overseas retailers will be collecting the same goods and services tax on purchases made in Australia, so it’s not a debate between bricks vs clicks, but about removing an unfair disadvantage to domestic retailers when competing with overseas retailers.

As Amazon prepares to rare its head Down Under, Myer’s announced one of its new pieces of weaponry – which has already been operating under the radar – a 4000 square meter clearance and sale outlet at Frankston, around 50 kms south-east of Melbourne’s city centre. 

It’s similar to Nordstrom’s highly successful Rack-branded clearance chain, with a few of its own elements thrown in to create a new store format that draws in unwanted and excess clothing, apparel and other stock from surrounding flagship stores, to free up the space in premium stores for fresh, new stock.

While it has an entirely different look and feel to the traditional Myer model, it’s retained the sense of quality for shoppers, with its own merchandise purchasing executive to curate the collection and keep it tailored to consumer needs.

Myer CEO and MD Richard Umbers told The Australian the store was dialling up the newness and uniqueness of its range, particularly on products that weren’t available on Amazon.

Serving as a test run for the next few months for the department store chain, which has a longer-term view to opening similar offerings in every state, we’ll be keeping a close eye on how it goes. 

Have a great week.

Dominique Lamb

NRA Media

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