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Retail Review – What Kiwi retailers should look out for in 2015

Don’t expect to be able to put your feet up next year warn our panel of retail experts. Retail will get faster, more competitive and more demanding.

To keep up Kiwi retailers will need to stand-out in the market, offer exceptional service and have a well thought through strategy.

What should Kiwi retailers look out for in 2015?
Cate Bryant
Chief Executive
Ecommerce New Zealand
Delivering greater speed and control for consumers in order fulfilment; investment in core systems to meet the need for greater inventory accuracy and visibility; more growth in international purchasing eased by faster and cheaper delivery into New Zealand, and international entrants in terms of physical stores, if only flagship; consumer demand for the mobile shopping experience to be on par with desktop or better; Farmers finally coming online and leveraging their huge database.
Andrew Buxton
Chief Executive
EstarOnline
Competing against international brands. Whilst Amazon is rumoured to be coming to Australia and continues to grow sales in New Zealand, the international retail brands especially in apparel are growing even faster here. To succeed local retailers must have a clear brand, a clear offer and a digital and store presence and execute well.
Chris Dibble
National Research Manager
Colliers International
People need retail shops. Rising populations mean rising demand. Where this is absent values will remain flat or fall. Investors like growth and will need high returns to persuade them to invest in low or no growth locations.
Tim Edwards
Chief Executive
Noel Leeming Group
More and more expectation from consumers on outstanding customer service. The internet will ensure the consumers are armed with information and price; we need to ensure we blow their socks off with exceptional customer experiences in all touch points of our businesses.
Ben Goodale
Managing Director
justONE and .99
Being aware of the increasing range of great online retailers chipping away at New Zealand retailer market share has to be the biggest watch out.  New Zealand retailers need to be defining their own online retail offerings and their brand and service promise that underpins that so New Zealand shoppers choose New Zealand online shopping first.
Mandy Jacobson
Agency Manager
Frontline Retail Auckland
Next year we expect to see more new retailers entering the market, but it should continue to be candidate poor which often leads to counter offers and candidates not moving for better career opportunities, but for more money. We are, however, starting to see an increase in passive candidates showing an interest in new opportunities, so hopefully it will not stay this way for long. In the meantime, to ensure that they hold on to their staff, our clients will need to consider promoting staff internally and offering ongoing training and development programmes.
Mark Johnston
Chief Executive
Retail NZ
‘Glocalisation’ and ‘retrofitting’ are two global trends to watch out for here in New Zealand next year. Big global retail brands are currently segmenting and customising their shopping formats to specific local marketplaces like never before, whilst an increasing number of international ‘pureplay’ online retailers are now opening bricks and mortar stores to satisfy the omnichannel demands of increasingly savvy consumers.
Wendy McLaughlin
National Retail Manager NZ
Ziera Shoes
(Their Broadway Newmarket store was named Supreme TopShop 2014)
The impact of technology both on everyday business and operational process. Get on board or get left behind.
Dean Minchington
Chief Executive
Service IQ
Customers will expect, more than ever before, that shopping is a good, even great, experience. Online purchasing will provide an ever-growing number of options for customers. These are just two of the challenges that mean skilled and trained staff will be vital to business success.
John Polkinghorne
Associate Director, Research
RCG
Anecdotally, we’re finding that a lot of retailers have been surprised by how strong their sales are going this Christmas. They didn’t order enough stock to accommodate the demand. It’s important to be careful with those purchases, but when consumer confidence is strong, population growth is strong and there’s more money flowing around the economy, retailers need to make sure they’ve able to get the upside.
Erin Walshe
Chief Executive and Founder
Pricemaker
Emphasise your local-ness and sense of community, and find your customers’ paths of least resistance to connect online, in social media, and on mobile, and customers will be come to buy in-store.
Chris Wilkinson
Managing Director
First Retail Group
In 2015 retailers will need to ensure they have a comprehensive digital strategy that takes in all forms of media. Given the seismic shift toward purposeful shopping, so much more of the decision process is driven digitally. It may be the sales are concluded in store – but where did they start – and what influenced things along the way? Those businesses that don’t have a defined roadmap will continue to make disconnected investment decisions – and be looking at elements in isolation.