From The Editor | May 17, 2013

Australia — The Next Big Market For Retailers?


By Bob Johns

Bob Johns, Robert Johns, associate editor

By Bob Johns, associate editor

Retailers are moving internationally at a rapid pace as everyone is looking for the next big market. For U.S. retailers, much of this expansion has centered on Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Western Europe. However, as these markets continue to have sluggish economies, there is a new market that seems to be getting some significant attention, Australia.

Australia is one of the few countries that remained somewhat untouched by the global economic crisis. Its economy has continued to along with its population, and the retail sector has grown right along with it. E-commerce is maturing at a rapid pace, with consumers embracing the channel both for purchases and product and brand information.

At NetSuite’s Suiteworld event, Williams Sonoma discussed the recent opening of four of its brands outside of Sydney, Australia, which marked the company’s first foray outside of North America with company-owned brick-and-mortar stores. “We launched Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm with both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce,” says Williams Sonoma CIO John Strain. “We wanted to go with everything at once.” The sites and stores launched May 2nd, all operating on the NetSuite platform.

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