Australia’s independent retail sector among the best in the world

Think big shop small

Research from cloud-based point of sale software company Vend reveals Australia’s independent retailers are among the best performing in the world, ringing in an average of AUD $504,979.85 annually compared to New Zealand ($495,360) and the UK ($487,355).

Now in its second year, Vend’s annual Retail Benchmarks Report is an in-depth analysis of over 13,000 independent retailers’ sales performance over the past 12 months across various sectors and global markets. This year’s report ranked the top three markets, based on monthly revenue per retailer:

  • North America (AUD $44,913)
  • Australia ($42,081)
  • New Zealand ($41,280).

Australia’s thriving independent retailers

From fashion and footwear to furniture and electronics, small retailers across Australia are earning significantly more per sale than most other global markets. The average transaction value stands at $81.15, a comfortable 14 per cent higher than the worldwide mean value ($71.39).

Vend’s report looking at the health of Australia’s independent retail sector also reveals:

  • Australian shoe shops have the best-performing monthly revenues; each store earns an average of $40,601 per month, 47 per cent higher than the global average ($27,595).
  • Australia’s fashion and accessory stores outperform global competition: independent fashion stores take home an average of $37,060 per month, 27 per cent higher than the global average ($29,209).
  • Furniture retailers bring in a sizeable $72,690 per retailer per month; a fifth (18 per cent) more than the global average of the same vertical ($61,467).
  • Australia’s independent electronics stores are eclipsing even tech-hub North America. Per store, they are raking in an average of $51,362 a month, more than double the amount earned globally ($24,781).

“Far from struggling, independent retailers in Australia are in fact healthy and thriving,” said Dave Scheine, Vend Managing Director, APAC. “We know that the retail landscape is changing, and our data proves it. Despite the downward sales trends of multinational and big box retail evidenced by the ABS, independent retailers here are not only fighting back but are, in fact, punching above their weight globally. It’s great to see that strong revenue was reported across Australia; in rural areas, regional towns and bustling cities across the nation.

“Smaller businesses are the fabric of Australia’s retail community, and thanks to cloud-based retail management software like Vend, these independent retailers are more competitive than ever, because they can save time and money to reinvest back into their businesses. They’re able to access the technology and support that much larger enterprise companies pay millions of dollars for. Plus, they can ensure that a personalised customer experience and beautifully curated product ranges remain a central part of their offering,” Scheine added.

“Consumers value small retailers in Australia,” said Chris Pickings, owner of Melbourne-based men’s fashion retailer and barbershop, Pickings and Parry. “As an independent retailer, we have a unique advantage over global retailers in that we can offer significant value and a personal service that appeals to all those Australians who like to shop local.

“We’ve been helped by technology designed specifically for small retailers and Government policies that have incentivised consumers to shop local. Together, they’re helping to level the playing field with global brands better than perhaps elsewhere in the world,” Pickings added. “The business has been growing steadily over those last six years, and I feel confident that this can continue.”