Sure to add more fuel to the fire of the GST debate, US retailers Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are making public their intentions to target the ‘favourable’ Australian market.
It’ll send shivers down the spines of small retailers and boil the blood of the large retailers in Australia. In a recent interview with Investors.com, Michael DeSimone, CEO of global e-commerce services company FiftyOne, said his business is booming as more US retailers look offshore for growth.
The US online retail growth curve is flattening out, and as reported by Forrester last year, the next big frontier for US retailers lies beyond its borders, with Australia a prime target.
“Australia is No. 2 [market behind Canada], driven by the strength of the Australian economy and the currency,” DeSimone told Investors.com. “They also have a very nice tax-free rule of up to 1,000 Australian dollars for goods that are imported from online sales, which is very friendly to companies like ours. Our third-biggest market is the UK. It’s not surprising that our top three markets are English-speaking. Most of our merchants have not translated their websites.”
Macy’s embraces international shoppers not only with a custom welcome page depending on the market, but an offer to gain 10% off in-store for international visitors – one I took advantage of during my recent visit to San Diego for the Power Retail US Learning Tour.
Australian retailers, particularly in apparel, are in for more pain from the likes of ASOS, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and others openly targeting Australian shoppers. Yet according to our current poll in the sidebar at the time of writing, the vast majority of readers either don’t care or don’t support the lowering of the GST threshold on imports.
What are your thoughts? Have your say here, and cast your vote as a member of the online and multichannel retail community in our poll at right.