Despite the weaker performance from retailers in the Australia apparel retailers market over the review period, as weak consumer confidence and a growth in online apparel retailing eroded store-based sales, Australia has become a popular destination for international apparel retailers to open their doors. However poor things appear for Australian consumers, the country remains a prosperous nation, with real GDP growth of just over 3% seen in 2012, low unemployment of just over 5%, and a high average income of close to A$70,000, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
Attracted by positive economic indicators and taking a longer term view, international retailers such as Gap (2010), Zara (April 2011), and Topshop (November 2011) have all opened stores in Australia. This trend is set to continue over the forecast period, with Swedish apparel retailer H&M set to arrive in Australia in 2013, while roughly a further 235 outlets are expected to be opened by international apparel retailers by 2017, according to a report by Colliers International. The continued growth in sales from overseas based online retailers and the growing popularity of international brands in department stores will support consumer demand for international apparel retailers.
With the overall economic conditions and consumer confidence expected to remain bleak over the forecast period, apparel specialists are predicted to see sales decline by an annual average of 4% in constant value terms. The shift towards online retailing will be a key driver of the decline.
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