Retail NZ’s half year report card has highlighted some of the most pressing issues for our retailers today. With what accounts for a large part of our economy facing continuing external and internal hurdles.
The fist half of 2018 has brought many problems for retailers to overcome, such as industrial relations, consumer spending and regulations.
Retail NZ’s Chief Executive, Scott Fisher said today “42 percent of retailers reported in a recent survey that the failed to hit their sales targets, part of an ongoing trend of underperformance across the sector.
“Overall, the environment for retail businesses is challenging,” said Fisher. “Problematic areas include industrial relations, where new legislation is likely to create an increasingly challenging environment for businesses; consumer spending, which is almost static as household budgets are increasingly squeezed; and regulation of shop trading hours on religious holidays which is arbitrary, unfair, and simply inefficient.”
What retailers noted as an increasingly worse issue was that of on-going crime. With retail crime continuing to become more aggressive against store owners.
“Crime is a real issue across the sector, and getting worse,” said Fisher. “Tragically, during the first half of the year, a security guard working at a retail premises was killed. There needs to be a Government social change programme to encourage respect for people, property and the law.”
On the flip side, there are aspects that retailer said were improving, such as payments and closing of the de minimus loophole.
“Retail NZ is pleased to see that the Government is moving to level the playing field by making foreign websites register for GST when selling to New Zealanders,” says Fisher. “There have also been positive movements in relation to payments with improved transparency and reduced interchange fees for some transactions – although we have yet to see the impact of this flow through into reduced merchant fees for retailers.”