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Amazon is biggest threat, says Wesfarmers’ Richard Goyder

5 August 2014

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

The head of Wesfarmers says his main competitive threat comes from Amazon, the US-based retail website, rather than rival grocery Woolworths. He would like to keep his physical stores open ‘‘24/7’’ to compete properly with the internet, he says.

Wesfarmers chief executive Richard Goyder also says Australia’s corporate tax rate ought to drop significantly to give local companies a chance to compete with corporations that use global tax havens to avoid paying tax.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Tuesday, Mr Goyder said Wesfarmers – the owner of Australia’s second-largest supermarket chain, Coles – no longer thought its biggest competitor was Woolworths or Big W or ‘‘one of the other physical competitors’’.

. . . .

‘‘I think Amazon is the biggest threat that we’ve got to our business model at the moment,’’ Mr Goyder said. ‘‘[Amazon is] a $150 billion company that finds its competitive advantage through cheap labour, low tax and highly innovative supply chains.

Link to the rest at The Sydney Morning Herald

Amazon, Non-US

8 Comments to “Amazon is biggest threat, says Wesfarmers’ Richard Goyder”

  1. Hunh? It’s a freaking grocery store. Does Amazon sell groceries in Australia?

    It sounds like this guy just wants his taxes reduced and is using Amazon as an all-purpose bogeyman.

  2. “Wesfarmers chief executive Richard Goyder also says Australia’s corporate tax rate ought to drop significantly to give local companies a chance to compete with corporations that use global tax havens to avoid paying tax.”

    This has been a point I agree with, not so much the corporate tax rate but particularly the sales tax issue here in the states. Don’t expand punitive, regressive sales taxes to include online retailers, repeal them for the physical stores that they harm every day. Given the variance between states and tax rates, sales taxes have always been punitive to those saddled with higher rates who were in proximity to those with lesser ones. This is a problem that’s been around far longer than Amazon or online commerce and it’s the reason the eastern part of the state of Maryland has far, far less retail economic growth that Delaware that borders on us or the western portions of the state insulated from it. DE is sales tax free and we’re jammed at 6%.

    • It’s 6 percent in my state and I’ve never not bought something because of sales tax so I don’t get that argument.

      Frankly, I don’t think taking away sales taxes is going to help physical stores either. I usually don’t shop in physical stores because the service is worse. I mean like predictably worse. The salespeople are usually mediocre to really bad because they just obviously don’t want to be there. That’s why I shop online.

      • Yeah, there’s a 5% difference between tax on Amazon and tax on local stores here. That’s usually much less than the price difference between the two (and Amazon isn’t always the cheapest), and not enough to justify buying from one over the other by itself.

        The 17.5% (now 20%) difference between tax-free and local stores in the UK was a much bigger deal.

    • “Don’t expand punitive, regressive sales taxes to include online retailers, repeal them for the physical stores that they harm every day.”

      This.

      And remember, every $1.00 in tax flowing to a government equals $2.37 that those maniacs spend. Or maybe it’s $4.17. Can’t keep track. My head starts spinning above a trillion.

      Dan

  3. Man… how behind the times is Australia? Woolworth’s went out of business here what… twenty years ago?

    This makes me wonder if they are still watching Alf and Family Ties because they’ve never heard of The X-Files and Sliders.

    I bet they’re still in ‘hair metal’ stage for their music.

    I realllllly want to move to Australia now. I’m such a child of the 80’s.

    • AFAIK the longest running science fiction TV show ever was — are you ready for this? — Lost in Space. LiS remained in syndication in Australia for something like 30 years.

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