The pathetic Gillard Government has rolled over to retailer pressure for an inquiry that is primarily designed to nobble online retailing.
The Australian retailers, long able to extort huge profit margins from the Australian consumer now finds its business model is under attack. Those horrible and dastardly consumers have discovered you can buy the same consumer durables online through overseas retailers far cheaper than at home through a store.
Now, pardon me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the essence of a capitalist market economy allegedly the way in which it drives down prices through greater efficiency, while concurrently driving up quality and choice. It seems to me that Aussie consumers have merely embraced the new shopping paradigm whereby you find the widest choice and cheapest price for an item anywhere in the world, and have it shipped to your door.
The only thing you loose is that instant gratification you get when you pay your money and get the physical item in a retail store.
Of course, the retailers fail to see that their only course of action is to embrace the new business model and setup an online store, potentially based off shore, where they can trade on their good name, with it’s well recognised brand. Their ability to leverage their existing bricks and mortar operation, perhaps by getting customers who purchase via their online store to come to the retail store for some additional special offer or even to make warranty claims. The marketing opportunities are pretty limitless if you think outside the square and look to embracing the new business model, rather than attempting to preserve the old, outdated and dying one.
But, instead, the typical reaction of the greedy who have grown fat on huge margins. Protect the existing and failing retail paradigm by blaming the lack of GST on goods under $1000 in value as the culprit, and whinge to Government to get a protection racket going against the voters. The joke, however, is on the whinging retailers, because even if online retailers have to charge GST when shipping to an Australian address, the all up price will still be a lot cheaper than the local RRP.
The Australian consumer are voting with their fingers and mouse to bypass local retailers and buy where they see the best value and greatest choice. And if that isn’t in Australia then clearly the Government have manifestly failed the people in not formulating policies, and making laws, that encourage the new and better retailing models that deliver better outcomes for the sellers and cheaper retail goods to consumers.