November 2012

A Pathway to Success

Recommended Retail Practice Report

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AMP Capital Shopping Centres' (AMPCSC) annual Recommended Retail Practices Report 2011(RRP): A Pathway to Success tracks Australian attitudes to spending and presents insights from leaders in the retail industry, the report finds that despite retail conditions remaining challenging consumer optimism is starting to look up

For the first time since the research began in the wake of the GFC, consumers are not expecting to spend less against any of the 18 retail categories surveyed.

The research, conducted by retail experts Directional Insights, asked consumers whether they preferred to shop for items online, in-store, or using a combination of the two. In the majority of categories, the number of Australians planning to shop ‘in-store only’ either remained stable or increased with shoppers preferring to make the trip to the stores when looking for everyday fashion, big-ticket furniture and electrical items and household goods.

AMP Capital Shopping Centres Managing Director Bryan Hynes says this indicates there is an opportunity for bricks and mortar retailers to retain and broaden their customer base provided they offer a superior in-store experience.

The report also found that shoppers consider value for money, innovation in products and service and trust in brand when making purchasing decisions.

It found that in general women were more likely to recognise brands as value driven, trusted and innovative and that younger Australians tended to trust brands more than older age groups.

The report also includes insights from five leaders of Australian retail Lorna Jane, Cue, Lush, Luxottica and the Coffee Club.

Lorna Jane CEO Lorna Jane Clarkson said: “Christmas is one of our busiest periods at Lorna Jane, and we are once again looking forward to a positive increase on last year’s sales. To find success throughout Christmas trading, it is integral to make gift-giving as simple and speedy as possible for your customers.

“It is about providing fuss-free shopping through informative Christmas catalogues, and in-store visual merchandising with gift options, gift packs and gift cards clearly on display,” Ms Jane Clarkson said.

Lush Australian Director Mark Lincoln said: “Retail conditions have certainly been challenging this calendar year but those retailers who have focused on providing innovative products - and an in-store experience which focuses on the individual customer - have done well.

“As long as these retailers maintain their focus on the customer and support their frontline teams, they will be rewarded with strong revenue increases in the Christmas season,” Mr Lincoln said.

Belinda Daly, Head of Shopping Centre Marketing says “It’s exciting to showcase some of the real success stories and learn what makes them effective in the Australian retail environment. We took the strengths and key learnings from these retailers to present ten key tips that provide a clear guide on how great retail brands are created and grown. I don’t expect any business to emulate exactly what they have done, but the key insights are relevant to any retail business in Australia or indeed the rest of the world.

The local emergence of international retailers demonstrates that Australian shoppers are enthusiastic about exciting new retail concepts. In the final part of our report, we explore international case studies of world-class retail thinking. It’s these innovations that will shape the future of the retail landscape.”