Retail Sector Insights – June 2012

NAB’s Sector Insight reports utilise our expertise across a range of industry sectors to explore current issues, present forward looking […]


NAB’s Sector Insight reports utilise our expertise across a range of industry sectors to explore current issues, present forward looking views and opportunities for growth and progression. Our reports also include some perspectives from respected industry leaders in each edition.

Welcome to our June 2012 edition of Sector Insights: Retail.

The Australian retail sector has had more than its fair share of challenges over the past 12 months – none more so than a consumer who, through the power of technology, has become far more discerning and value-conscious.

The economic landscape has created an innate conservatism amongst Australian consumers but the reality is, year-on-year, people are spending more – they’re just not spending it in areas where they’ve traditionally spent their disposable income. The savvy Australian consumer can take responsibility for some significant challenges encountered by retailers.

However, many firms are tackling this situation head-on and coming up with some wonderful new enhancements to the shopping experience, supply chain initiatives and shifts in branding strategy and their broader customer value proposition to remain incredibly relevant.

In this, our second annual instalment of NAB’s Retail Sector Insights, we explore many of these industry developments both from the Bank’s perspective and, most importantly, from key players in the sector. We have been very fortunate in this edition to obtain some wonderful insights from two leading retailers in Peter Birtles at Super Retail Group and Hilton Seskin at Next Athleisure, both companies being valued clients of NAB.

We have also gathered some valuable thinking from other industry commentators such as Margy Osmond from the Australian National Retailers Association and Stuart Harker at PwC.

Blended with these external contributions are some interesting articles from NAB personnel which we hope will provide our readership with a unique compilation of major trends, challenges, insights and opportunities in the Australian retail sector.

While the sector has thrown up many new challenges for businesses in recent times, it does remain a vitally important part of the Australian economy. After all, nearly two-thirds of Australia’s GDP is consumption-based and the retail sector employs over 1.2 million Australians (or 10.6% of total employment).

NAB remains committed to supporting Australian businesses and those in the Australian retail sector are no exception. Retail businesses which continue to adapt and grow with the changing environment and remain well-managed and cash-generative are, no doubt, the ones which will attract the strongest support from banks and investors alike.

Download the full report to find out more.