Shoppers urged to support Australian retailers

 

Australians are more determined than ever to throw their support behind local businesses and give them a much-needed cash injection in the final weeks before Christmas.

New research from accounting software firm MYOB has found the pandemic has inspired consumers to think local when opening up their wallets.

About 39 per cent of the 1000 shoppers surveyed will doing a majority of their shopping at their nearby retail strip or shopping centre compared to 32 per cent last year.

And 20 per cent will be buying online from independent Australian businesses compared to just 6 per cent in 2019.

MYOB's chief economist Jon Manning says many businesses have boosted their online presence during the pandemic which has made it easier for Australians to support them.

"Many have gone online during COVID, we've had so many businesses that weren't online then all of a sudden they've gone online and you can buy from them," he says.

"Many people now appreciate their local businesses more than they did previously."

Small businesses such as gift shops, clothing and footwear outlets and bookshops have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic, with many forced to temporarily close their doors, and many small businesses and employees have relied on JobKeeper support to get through.

Shoppers in Melbourne spending up at the Black Friday sales in the CBD.
Shoppers in Melbourne spending up at the Black Friday sales in the CBD.

The Federal Government scheme will end up costing about $101 billion to support more than 900,000 businesses and 3.5 million Australians.

Manning says, despite there being many store closures in cities such as Melbourne during COVID-19, if consumers don't support them now they will fold.

"The signs are good here for Australians wanting to support local businesses," he says.

He suggests shoppers sign up to their local stores' email distribution lists and consider purchasing from them to fill Christmas stockings.

The Australian Retailers Association's chief executive officer Paul Zahra says "every dollar that consumers spend sensibly in a retail store gives somebody a job".

"We want people to vote with their feet and shop with retailers they want to survive the next three months," he says.

"If you shop at an Australian retailer they will certainly thank you for shopping locally, there's a lot of businesses doing it particularly tough right now.

"If you want them to survive it's important to support them."

He says the summer shopping season is the most critical time of the year for many retailers who are relying on strong sales to set them up for the next 12 months.

The MYOB research also found many shoppers would be supporting mainstream outlets in the lead-up to Christmas - including Kmart, Target and JB Hi-Fi - with 43 per cent planning to do a majority of their shopping at mainstream outlets compared to 32 per cent last year.

And 23 per cent will be doing their online shopping from mainstream stores compared to 7 per cent in 2019.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

 

Originally published as Shoppers urged to support Australian retailers


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