A survey of 172 retailers reveals what the sector needs to get fully back on its feet post-COVID. The research, commissioned by CouriersPlease (CP), shows that over a third (36 per cent) of the retailers surveyed are confident they will be able to recover pre-pandemic revenue levels between July and December this year. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of those surveyed say that they could get to that point by the end of July, while 13 per cent said their recovery would depend on restrictions lifting completely, and eight per cent do not believe they’ll get back to pre-COVID levels this year.
With regards to the potential solutions that could help the retail industry recover faster, 42 per cent of retailers believe an effective treatment or vaccine is needed; 34 per cent say that they need further Government assistance to help them pay employee salaries, such as an extension of the JobKeeper scheme; 27 per cent are looking at tax incentives from the Government; and 17 per cent say that further cashback incentives from the Government are necessary for the industry’s recovery. Meanwhile, 22 per cent have believe they won’t recover fully until consumers have more cash to spend (consumer confidence fell by 27 per cent when restrictions were enforced last year).
“The retail industry has a long way to go to recovery,” Paul Roper, Chief Commercial Officer at CP, said. “While eCommerce has remained strong, many bricks and mortar retailers were forced to close their doors last year.
“The end of JobKeeper in March, a slow rollout of the NSW Government’s Dine and Discovery voucher scheme and continuing COVID cases across the country, including the recent spike in cases in Melbourne, are just a few of the factors that could lead to cautious consumer spending this year,” Roper added.
“I encourage these retailers to consider shifting to, or growing, their online or omnichannel offering as more Australians become comfortable with online shopping,” Roper said. “A number of support measures remain at retailers’ disposal, including the SME Guarantee Scheme and the instant asset write-off scheme.”