No threat from Amazon

  • Opinion
  • April 5, 2017
  • Paul Keane
No threat from Amazon

Amazon recently made an announcement that their imminent entry into Australia would kill local retailers. How seriously do we take Amazon’s threats? There have been a number of like statements over the years.

The introduction of weekend trading

When Saturday shopping was signalled to the market in the early 1980s, a large majority of retailers from across the country opposed the move as a serious interruption to people’s lives; particularly sport on Saturdays that would decline due to parents having to work. The debate went on.

When stores were allowed to open on Saturdays, the success of the trading hours expansion evolved and Sundays were then permitted. Weekend retailing is extremely successful and here to stay. It simply gave people the opportunity to shop as a family when they wanted to rather than when they had to, due to limited hours trading. There was no negative social impact; rather it has been embraced as a key element in our daily lives.

Despite worries sport has remained a key element in Kiwi’s lives, and major rugby matches have simply shifted from the traditional Saturday afternoon, to evenings when crowds will attend. Furthermore, it significantly improved employment with retailers needing more staff to cope with the extended hours. The move was very much a success for all concerned, there were no negatives.

Relaxed drinking laws

The same could be said of the extended drinking laws when bars were granted permission to open beyond 6pm. The "swill' of the 1960s was replaced with "sensible drinking". The culture shifted to people being able to enjoy a social drink in comfort, rather than drinking as much as one could in the limited allocated time.

Again we saw an increase in employment opportunities with "food & beverage" facilities emerging as true and successful business opportunities.

The threat of VHS and DVD

We also have the example of the introduction of videos and DVDs. At the time there were those that suggested video, and later DVD, would be the death knell of the Cinema Industry.

Ironically, videos and DVDs have all but disappeared off store shelves replaced by in-home entertainment services like Netflix or Lightbox etc. Video Stores are basically out of business, but cinemas still remain. The reason is that it creates social connection. Going to a movie (and maybe a meal) is an outing that we cannot replace with isolated in-home entertainment.

So why are Amazon making statements about their ability to impact on Traditional Retailers?

It’s a scare tactic that effectively draws attention to Amazon entering the Australian Market. Retailers who fall into that trap will soon succumb. I was alarmed to read that The Warehouse were talking about this threat and blaming their sales decline on this competition to their traditional business. I commented on this a few weeks ago.

Amazon are no fools. They introduced online shopping to the worldwide market, and in an endeavour to compete retailers introduced their own online shopping opportunities.

The response to this form of shopping has been positive. To date it has not negatively impacted on either the bricks and mortar industry or the retail industry. The reason? The same we just mentioned above for cinemas; people can be "remote" if they wish, but by and large the majority of us want to retain some level of social connection.

This is the key reason retail trading or retail merchants will continue to be around far longer than Amazon’s threat suggests. Furthermore, online shopping has boosted the performance of courier and transport companies, and as a result, employment in those industries and that of storage facilitators.

There is always a pot of gold at the end of each rainbow; it’s a matter of how we want to access the pot!

 Paul Keane is a registered property professional and has vast experience in New Zealand’s commercial property industries. He provides retail and property consultancy including development management to many New Zealand property owners, developers and city councils. This post originally appeared on RCG's blog.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Foodstuffs’ Baden Ngan Kee has passed away

  • Who's Where
  • July 16, 2019
  • The Register team
Foodstuffs’ Baden Ngan Kee has passed away

Foodstuffs has announced that its former executive Baden Ngan Kee has passed away after a battle with lung cancer.

Read more

2 Cheap Cars fined $438,000 under the Fair Trading Act

  • News
  • July 14, 2019
  • The Register team
2 Cheap Cars fined $438,000 under the Fair Trading Act

Used car dealer 2 Cheap Cars has been fined $438,000 for its use of “warranty waiver” documents and marketing statements described as “deliberately misleading”.

Read more

Retail's new best friend

  • In association with the IHA Global Innovation Awards (GIA)
  • July 13, 2019
  • Anne Kong
Retail's new best friend

As the heart and soul of retailing further evolves, stores and the essence of shopping will continue to morph in unimaginable ways. However, amidst the storm of change, there is one aspect of shopping that remains pure, constant and motivational – the aspirational moment. Anne Kong, member of the GIA expert jury, shares her thoughts.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Bendon looks to sell brands after financing falters

  • News
  • July 12, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Bendon looks to sell brands after financing falters

Bendon lingerie is looking to sell some of its brands as the future of the company becomes more uncertain.

Read more

Smirnoff Pure helps Kiwis discover local artists with Spotify partnership

  • News
  • July 11, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Smirnoff Pure helps Kiwis discover local artists with Spotify partnership

The music we love is made up of many influences, including where we live. In its latest campaign, Smirnoff Pure and YoungShand tapped into the unique vibes of New Zealand and set out to help Kiwis discover the music that moves the cities and suburbs they call home.

Read more

Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

  • News
  • July 11, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

Simon Moutter has just wrapped up a seven-year tenure at telecommunications company Spark. Under his rein, the changes the company has gone through are nothing short of radical, from its name (Telecom to Spark), to its operating model (traditional to agile), to its culture (publicly called out to inclusive) to its structure (one monopoly brand to many). Here, Moutter has a candid chat about his journey as CEO, the company's push to be a more diverse and inclusive workplace and how one of his biggest lessons learned was he couldn’t solve a cultural issue with processes and strategy.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit