Retailer in Australia are up against some tough sales conditions ahead of the winter season.
According to Russell Zimmerman, the executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, the conditions are similar to that of the infamous 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis.
Zimmerman was quoted as saying that he expects retailers across the country to cut prices down due to a slump in sales.
“Retailing has been far more difficult this season than what we would have like to have seen it – particularly in the clothing and footwear area,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if a large number of retailers head out with fairly strong sales. I think we will see a lot of discounts this season because (it) has been a tough season,” Zimmerman added.
Mr Zimmerman’s comments come after Myer announced massive product discounts of up to 70% as part of their yearly winter stocktake discounts.
The sale, which a little bit earlier this year than it did last year, would see marked down prices on a wide range of items. This includes clothing, kitchenware, homeware and bedding and offers online.
Zimmerman explained that there are several elements retailers consider when organising sales, he claimed that warmer-than-average national temperatures have played a role in the excess of winter stock.
“I think it’s fair to say that the (winter clothing) season has been extremely difficult for retailers,” he said. “Unfortunately, I think that you’re going to find that retailers are going to have to discount quite heavily to get rid of their stock.
“It’s the toughest trading conditions have been as long as I can remember over the last eight or nine years and I remember these conditions being about as tough as when we had the GFC.”
Zimmerman also said that consumers need to “shop smart” but also have confidence in brands.
“If you’re going out to buy it, buy wisely and don’t overspend – retailers don’t want you to get overcommitted,” he said. “The other thing is that the products that they’re selling are quality products.
“It’s going to get cold, consumers are going to need these products and (companies have) got to shift them – and consumers will want discounts.”
“Retailers across Australia are feeling it pretty tough at the moment,” he said. “Obviously, each retailer is going to have to make their own decision but I would expect to see more discounts coming through in the next few weeks.”