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Retail Panel: Pet humanisation means opportunities for retailers

February 17, 2018

Every Thursday, our CEO Dominique Lamb, and a panel of retail experts discussed the future of Australia’s grocery industry on ABC Radio. Below are some insights from last Thursday’s discussion.

‘Pet humanisation’ means opportunities for retailers

The ‘pet humanisation’ trend is creating a huge growth area for Australian retailers. 

Consumers have become more conscious of having a healthy lifestyle and diet, and now want the same for their pets. Households have become more willing to invest in their pets’ care and diet, which is driving demand for higher quality pet food and boosting overall pet food production. (IBISWorld)

The pet humanisation trend is gaining momentum and it’s going beyond pet food. We are starting to see a rise in demand for quirky pet activities, such as dog-friendly venues, festivals, gifts, and other retail opportunities that allow pet owners the ability to spoil their furry children.

According to Roy Morgan, 50 per cent of Australians live with a dog or a cat, compared to only 35 per cent living with at least one child under 16 years. It is predicted that the market for pet food and other pet-related products will rise to about $1.7 billion in 2018.

Avon ‘streamlining’ their brand, leaving Australia

Long-standing home shopping brand Avon has announced they are withdrawing from Australia. In its heyday, Avon was not only a shopping network, but also a social outlet and income opportunity for savvy householders.

The cosmetics company, which was founded in New York in 1886 and reached Australia in 1963, is famous for its direct-selling method. In 2016 the company had annual worldwide sales of $US5.7 billion — but the brand has struggled with plummeting sales for the past five years.

So, what went wrong? After an attempt to enter the online cosmetics industry in 2014, it was difficult for Avon to compete with established brands, such as Sephora or Mecca Maxima. Dominique Lamb says the Avon business model was not built to adapt to the changing competitive environment and lifestyles of their customers. 

Car showrooms popping up in retail shopping centres

Your grocery list can now include a brand-new car as shopping centres are set to become the car dealership of the future.

Why are we building car dealerships where they don’t traditionally belong? Associate Professor Gary Mortimer (QUT Business School) explains it’s all about ‘breaking habitualisation’. When you see something out of the ordinary, like a car in the middle of the shopping centre, your brain uses more cognitive energy when it notices and this creates interest and excitement. The Retail Panel guarantees you won’t remember the number of car yards you drive past on the way home from work, but you will remember them in a retail outlet. 

Subaru Australia’s Managing Director, Nick Senior, said in a statement:

“We work in a retail industry that has been conditioned by 100 years of tradition. Our challenge is to break that tradition for today’s and tomorrow’s new world customers.”

You can listen to the Retail Panel every Thursday on ABC Radio from 5 pm or listen to the podcast here!

Steve Austin is joined by retail experts Christine Moody from Brand Audits, Dominique Lamb from the National Retail Association and Gary Mortimer from QUT’s School of Business to discuss these issues and more. 

See a real-life Retail Panel!

Join us for State of the Retail Nation (SORN) – a nationwide interactive panel discussing the most important issues affecting the retail industry.

  • How is technology advancement affecting retailers?
  • How can you utilise the ‘retail experience’?
  • How do franchisors manage their relationships with franchisees or managers?
  • What are businesses doing to ensure compliance, deal with vulnerable workers legislation, and effectively manage these competing issues in business?

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