JB Hi-Fi’s inaugural entry into the Top 250 largest global retailers by revenue marks the first time three Australian retailers have made the cut for Deloitte’s Global Powers Retailing report.
Now in its 21st year, the report stated following electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi’s acquisition of The Good Guys and a consistent year-on-year comparative sales growth with an annual revenue of A$5.9 billion, the retailer made it to 218, cracking the list for the first time.
Wesfarmers and Woolworths maintained their top 25 global retailers’ placings at 21st and 23rd.
David White, the report’s author, said about 15 per cent on the list, or 38 top 250 global retailers, operate in Australia adding they expect further competition to come from international retailers.
“In 2017 we saw a retail market that was growing overall, but at the same time, the level of competition among retailers also continued to increase,” White said.
White said with so much change and uncertainty in the Australian retail landscape, 2018 could be a pivotal year for many Australian retailers.
He said Australia faces three major disruptors, the first being Amazon – which launched Down Under late last year.
“As Amazon builds out its infrastructure and services in Australia in 2018, we can expect its presence and influence on the market to grow significantly, particularly in the second half of the year and in the lead up to Christmas,” he said.
He said there is significant speculation that German discount retailer Lidl, the fourth largest retailer in the world, could set up shop in Australia and, like Aldi, make an impact over time.
“Should Lidl choose to set up shop in Australia, it will take time for the full effect to be felt, in much the same way Aldi took a number of years to grow its market share here. The impact of Lidl in markets such as the UK has been transformational for the sector. It’s certainly another case of wait and see.”
The third major disruptor cited is Chinese retailers and e-platform providers entering the Australian market or expanding operations.
Alibaba opened its Australian headquarters in Melbourne last year to source and sell highly sought after Australian products to Chinese consumers.
White said Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is expected to follow suit shortly, and Chinese online discount business Vipshop (VIP.com) opened its new distribution centre in Sydney as it seeks to partner with more Australian retailers.
“These fast-growing Chinese retailers and e-commerce platform providers are starting to make a significant impact on the global retail market,” he said.
“This provides Australian retailers with a huge opportunity to take advantage of high Chinese demand for Australian products.”
“Ongoing population growth, a strong tourism market and improving wages are all set to ensure the overall retail market continues to grow in 2018. However, with the increase in competition from both international and domestic retailers, we can expect to see further consolidation in the sector.”
“JD Sports, the UK sports-fashion retailer, now has five stores in Australia. Also, well-established international players in the luxury retail market, such as Swarovski and Tiffany & Co, have opened new stores, expanded existing footprints and introduced new brands to our market. We also saw the French-owned retailer Décathlon open its first bricks-and-mortar store in Australia in 2017 and Amazon’s long-anticpiated arrival to our shores,” he says.
White also expects a continuation of the strong interest from international retailers for acquisition opportunities in Australia. With the continued competitive pressures, further consolidation can be expected in 2018, particularly in the apparel sector.
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