Shoppers are keen for Australian made – more so now than at any time we can recall. Our advice to suppliers and retailers is consistent: If your products are Australian made, make sure you are bold in pitching that on the products.
Since COVID hit and more so in recent weeks as tensions with China have escalated in Australia and in recent weeks as democracy in Hong Kong has come under attack from Beijing, shoppers and retailers are more wary of China sourced product. And more recent still is the attack on the international student business.
Is sourcing products from China a long term concern? It’s hard to say. It is, however, enough of a concern in our view that we expect some suppliers are actively working on adjustments to their supply chain so as to not be impacted by anti China sentiments.
We have been discussing the situation internally and with our retailer partners and we feel that it is Beijing’s moves against Hong Kong and the recent war of words from China against Australia that represent the most significant risk to the commercial viability of China sourced products.
Does this mean retailers don’t want to source products from China? No. However, it does mean that it is on the minds of retailers and that they do talk about it with us.
In our own retail businesses, yes, we are a POS software company with our own shops selling gifts and homewares as test sites for our software, we are concerned about the source of what we sell. Where possible we preference locally made, ethically sourced.
What’s happening in Hong Kong showcases suppression of democracy and at some point we anticipate the world will respond to that. What’s being published by state owned news outlets in China against Australia also indicates the challenges and risks ahead for the supply chain.
These are reasons why we hope suppliers have alternatives in development so that supply is not impacted.
As a POS software company we became involved in our customer businesses in many ways. We have written about this topic today as it has come up in several retailer forums we have hosted.