The Australian retail industry has experienced a huge amount of change and uncertainty, requiring retailers to continually evolve and pivot their operating model to stay in business.
Our senior people have worked in retail for 25 years. That’s 25 years’ experience helping some of Australia’s largest and most important businesses to be more successful.
We bring our operational experience to bear across all elements of the retail value chain, from buying and ranging through supply chain and logistics, and technology transformation. We can also advise you on tax structuring and strategy, audit and tax compliance, benchmarking tools and workforce services. If you export or import, we can help you manage foreign exchange and tax risk in your business.
Top trends in Retail & Consumer Products
Areas of expertise
What products resonate and where? How do you price and when do you go on sale? How do you optimise your margins and how do you know if your promotions are effective? These are some of the challenges we tackle in tandem with our clients. We use your data and our well-honed approach to develop tailored trading reports, product lifecycle recommendations, and suggest enhancements to pricing architecture.
Retail planning is highly complex with merchandisers balancing pricing, stock weight and margin across multiple locations including online. We know a strong merchandising strategy supports better financial and demand planning, which flows on to inventory optimisation and operations planning. We are experienced with many forecasting systems, and can create forecasting tools and processes that help to automate processes and identity issues and irregularities well before they become problems.
Supply chains have become increasingly complex, with goods and products sourced from an ever expanding array of locations. These supply chains can prove to be fragile, and subject to risk. It’s important then, to manage your supply chains by planning your networks, contract and tender management to ensure you have reliable and secure relationships in place. Understanding the connections between you and your suppliers – your transport networks, warehouse management and borders and customs can help you to reduce friction in your logistics.
To get products in can be just as complicated as getting products out – particularly in an environment of shifting trade partnerships and new trade deals. Understanding the most expedient way to move product around your supply chain is essential.
Bricks-and-mortar retail spaces have lost ground to online retail, but they are still essential to the whole consumer experience. The challenge then is to give consumers a reason to put their devices down and not only come in store, but to stay. This starts with the space – with many retailers moving away from the typical 'warehouse'-style shop front to create curated experiences, ever-evolving and showcasing the latest trends and products. This is complemented by your people, with rostering becoming untethered to specific stores to allow a smaller workforce to support a larger network. A sign of the times, your back-of-store and in-store fulfilment of online orders needs to be as seamless as your front of store to keep consumers coming back time and time again.
Challenging market conditions can place pressure on management and boards to reduce costs, while growing revenue and executing new initiatives. We work closely with you to navigate these complex and contradictory pressures; using our own methodology to help articulate and develop your strategic plans, focusing tightly on commercial outcomes in the context of your goals and core competencies.
As we’ve mentioned, we don’t just advise and leave – and the same applies to designing the strategy. We work as a team to solve your complex issues and implement solutions together.
All organisations grapple with change, and never has the retail sector been faced with a more challenging marketplace than now. This invariably leads to internal change and people movements – the temptation may be to 'plug' the hole as quickly as possible. Alternatively, it can be an opportunity to benefit from the experience, objectivity, planning and accountability of an interim leader. Our senior team members can perform short-term interim leadership roles at General Manager or C-suite level across finance, merchandise, supply chain, online, store operations and information technology. In addition, we can support and coach existing leaders within your business.
We are experienced in managing large change programs across multiple functions. Using our own project management methodology, we advocate an ‘activist’ PMO and project management approach so risks, issues and dependencies are uncovered as early as possible in the implementation timeline. Our breadth of functional experience across sourcing, buying, planning, logistics, supply chain, IT and store operations provides for robust discussion, debate and delivery.
Almost every organisational change program includes an information technology workstream or project, so we integrate IT into our core service offering. We review existing technology environments, provide project teams that solve problems and help when specific resources are needed. When used right, technology becomes the ultimate enabler – providing transparent and real-time insights across your whole business, from the bottom line through to demand, inventory and workforce requirements.
In order to remain competitive in today’s market most retailers are investing in their online offering. The fundamental challenge of online retail is developing an efficient fulfilment model. It’s not something you can ignore, with many of the first time online shoppers from 2020 converted to the efficiency and convenience of click and collect and speedy delivery. We have experience in delivering and optimising online fulfilment and model rollout, as well as the essential integration of online into merchandise and store operations. It’s worth the effort to only integrate digital into your current operations, but to also review and use the data to continually improve your processes. The online experience, from being able to view products through to a painless payment, speedy delivery and competitive returns policies will be deciding factors in where consumers choose to spend their dollar.
Cash, savings or credit were the typical methods of paying for products for decades. However, in a few short years we’re seeing new ways of making purchases that will transform retail. Buy Now, Pay Later has exploded as an alternative to credit. Cryptocurrency is increasingly becoming a commodity not just to mine and trade, but also to transact with. If you’re looking to diversify your transaction options, it’s important to understand the risks as well as the opportunities in what is an exciting and as yet largely unregulated sub-sector.
The retail & consumer products sector is beholden to their supply chains and regulation to improve the quality and transparency of how the sector operates. Modern Slavery Reporting is a recent example of a vital piece of regulation that has added complexity for the retail sector simply by virtue of the complexity of their inventories. Then there are issues around wage theft and payroll assurance, as well as the ever increasing risk of cybercrime impacting not just your business, but also your customers. Whether it’s tax, audit or risk, we cut through the compliance and complexity.
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Listen to Luke Ritchie, National Head of Retail & Consumer Products talk about trends and issues facing the sector right now.
Trading terms optimisation
Whistleblowing and payroll assurance
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