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Property News

Online retail may not be such a big threat after all

November 07, 2011

Since the spread of online avenues for commercial transactions began expanding to the fields of e-commerce, industry commentators have been predicting the death of retail as we know it.

In fact on July 20 1998 Time Magazine devoted their front cover to the topic - with the main title reading "Kiss your mall goodbye".

However, despite the impact that is being felt by the industry from a number of external influences - such as international financial concern and increases to the basic costs of living - data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that consumers are once again starting to reach for their wallets rather than their keyboards.

Released on November 3, the trade figures show that the retail industry enjoyed a 0.4 per cent increase - seasonally adjusted - in September 2011, following on from a previous 0.6 per cent rise in August.

It wasn't limited to one or two categories either - all industries covered by the ABS experienced the phenomenon, with the greatest jumps recorded by the household goods sector and the food services group.

While it could be attributable to the upcoming Christmas season, the increase in spending could be an indication that the furore raised by concerned retailers over the impact of online shopping on the sector is not as large as previously estimated.

In turn this means that there is still plenty of opportunity left for savvy business owners to take advantage of prime office premises to help improve overall sales rates



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