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Placed Australia

The Economy, COVID -19, Business, Jobs - Where to from here?

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Hi everyone. This is really sad to see...and I fear posts like this will not be the last we see from the retail side of the industry...


Many of you know, I love my fishing...and the below video post popped up in my Facebook feed before Easter...and it made me shift in my chair thinking about the economy and what's about to go down... You can feel the emotion in this one...you can also tell this is a man who gave it everything, but was beaten by circumstances that he could not control! In any other environment, he would have been fine right?...even killing it...although this type of post is starting to become more & more common across retail in general and it's flowing on to other industries... So what's going on really? Go grab a coffee and a biscuit...and we'll take a deep dive into exactly what's happening...



Now, I don't mean to use this specific video as an example...and our heart goes out to the store owner and staff...although it highlights a few things that are very important to all retailers in Australia and I'd like to use it to highlight a few observations of my own...


The retail & hospitality industry across the board is going through a massive re-adjustment...and unfortunately...for those that do not shift with it...will become obsolete! That's not a scare statement...it's a fact... Online is the new King of retail. This adjustment will have a gradual flow on effect to all other industries...and it's time to act and survive! It's not very often you get to see the sky falling so you can step out of the way...


So what's driving this instability?

There is a struggle for power going on in the undercurrent of the economy between the USA & China...and it's getting dirty...even to the point that there is a good chance one of them released the COVID-19 virus on purpose... It's quite possibly a LAB strain from what the experts are saying.


Oh...you don't think that stuff goes on over power and dominance? Ever heard of Napoleon Bonaparte, WW1 & WW2 among every other War that ever started...ever? It's a Trade War...no guns needed...yet! The short version is...China offered the world quality cheap manufacturing of pretty much anything you wanted made, and the globe responded favourably and put China to work.


Almost every company on the planet who produced goods...had their products Made In China, even the biggest brands on the planet... and now we have a problem... The jobs and the money shifted with it...

China got rich...really rich! Now, all the world leaders need to somehow get their countrymen to bring their business back to home soil, so the revenue can be captured and taxed under their GDP (Gross Domestic Product)... Jobs can be created...the country can support itself.


Bit late for that "1st world Nations", the horse has already bolted...!


Now, governments are stuck literally begging Manufacturers to bring their business back home...before we slide back into a not-so "1st world Nations" economy. But what incentive is there for Manufactures to do it? The truth is...a move back home will have a direct negative impact on the Manufacturers bottom-line and not many, if any, will listen to the call... It will be business as usual...


Hear the mantra people "Manufacturing makes money" and if your country doesn't have it...you aren't making it...simple!


So why don't Governments realise this and make immediate changes? Government have realised it...but what's the incentive for companies to come home? Higher taxes, more expensive raw materials, lack of infrastructure, speed to market, super-strict employee relations laws, pollution taxes, superannuation payments and holiday pay... we can keep going all day...but it's clear our Governments want the whole cake...and manufacturers simply won't buy into that structure. It has to drastically change to even become viable...

What happened?

Our Governments & Unions saw the manufacturers making big money and they wanted as much of that pie as possible...and they got greedy. Slowly but surely, they government introduced taxes for this and taxes for that. The Unions said "hang on...were the workforce for your money making...we want this and we want that for our workers too". All that happened is the manufacturers packed up and left...to less restrictive economies...China, India, Philippines... It's just China scaled the fastest by investing in infrastructure...which drove our local mining boom.


Do you remember the GST, Fair Work Act 2009, Mining TAX and Electricity price hikes to Manufacturing? So how do you get your business leaders, who don't want to bring their manufacturing home to suddenly want to? Virus originating in China sounds good...that could work...

This is where the power struggle escalates...because all countries realised they stuffed-up by driving their Manufacturing away... and the USA in particular... is very vocal about bring Manufacturing back home to make their economy strong again...and China wants to keep it. They worked bloody hard for it after-all... Is it not their time to flaunt their spoils?


China seems strategically focused on using that manufacturing money to expand while they can... reaching into the South Pacific & Australia first...


What else do you do when your super Rich...? You can afford to buy stuff right...but not plastic junk...you buy smart by purchasing strategic investments...resources, produce etc...things that will make your economy even stronger...so your not so reliant on cheap manufacturing as your only source of big revenue. I'll use mainstream media to demonstrate that claim... There are far more targeted articles I have seen with pretty obvious proof this is the play... and it's in line with them buying up Australian Farms / Dairy Farms / Cattle Stations and Produce / Seafood business's / Property...etc...but is it as sinister as the media makes out? I doubt it...



On top of all this going on, we have the Online boom putting pressure on traditional business models at the same time... There is no doubt about it, the Job Market in certain industries is about to get tough...really tough... and it's worth polishing up your Resume and get your CV ready for battle. (Click here for our downloadable resume templates)

This "Retail Apocalypse", as some media outlets are calling it, is more the beginning of an overall economic collapse. Were getting hit from all angles. The online boom is not a good thing, unless all the purchases are for items made in Australia...and their not...

The more Australian based stores that close, and foreign online companies move in, the less money will circulate in our local economy...


Let's say that more than half the Items purchase online are from overseas (most, if not all were certainly made overseas)..that means all those sales are not part of the Australian economy...and that money doesn't circulate back through wages, taxes and other business locally... it's money thrown off our Island onto someone else's... gone!


Do you see now why it's so vital that we all buy Australian and create a manufacturing hub again? It's certainly to late this time around...but maybe if we start now...we can start building some wealth again... We have plenty of space to build manufacturing cities in central Australia, and very smart operators to build IT focused cities in regional towns.


It's obvious the Wealth in Australia will remain in Property and we should see a spike in Property sales across the country as people divest their investments and run to bricks and mortar... For Retail & Hospitality..the outlook could be grim. Continued lockdowns across the globe could see Retail, Travel and Hospitality hurt bad...real bad!


This will surely drive even more spending online as these industries quickly evolve to keep up. Fires, Floods and Viruses all added to a perfect storm, but are not the root cause to the overall situation... The market was on shaky ground way before the global virus lock-down. You can read more by clicking the image below...

It certainly seems right to think that the added pressure of COVID-19 lock-down and a sharp additional downward trend in revenue form this event...that sadly, this could be the final straw for most struggling businesses...

The digital age is truly upon us. If anything...COVID-19 lock-down will push more and more consumers to search and buy online and have goods delivered rather than going to a store. I will share just one of the reports here so you can get an understanding of some of the data before COVID-19. https://auspost.com.au/…/inside-australian-online-shopping-…

You can go through a few major reports in your own time (like I do constantly)..they will all say the same thing, and if your a Business owner...you need to look at that data...and start to make a few decisions about the survival of your business or if it's time to pull out now before you go too deep...


What does it all tell us? Simple, if you sell products & services....you need to have it all up for sale online. If your not prepared to do this...then I'm afraid more posts like this one will be common place in the coming years.


This is what I mean when I say "The Game has Changed". This is not the time to sit back....expecting the same old selling techniques to work. The buyers are now walking around with computers in their pockets...expect to view, review, price check and buy all of your products and services online. If your not there...your competition who is set-up online, will get all the traffic...and beat you out of business. It's that simple...! Most retail owners will say "We have too many products to list" so we don't bother. "It takes too long to List them" or "I have a shop, I've been here for years...I don't need to list anything"...

If you like it or not...your in the selling & listing business...and you need to get comfortable with listing everything you sell, with video preferably! You can't rely on "Jo Blow" walking into your store and buying up enough items to keep you afloat... Foot traffic is going to dry up... In fact...the Government will call for and enforce the public not to venture out...especially "To the Shops"...


Most retailers are locked into contracts with wholesalers so they can't sell the products online. This is the fastest way to kill your product views! Really wholesalers?..do you care if the item is sold in a shop or online? All store owners should be on the phone to their wholesaler ASAP and re-negotiate their terms immediately so they can advertise and sell everything they hold in stock... online.


Someone, somewhere will get a hold of those products and start selling them online...with no agreement in place. Frightfully, I can see the wholesalers cutting out the retailers in time... and selling direct online. Some are already flat-out dong it under different brands to the ones they wholesale to retail. Same product...different colour and brand logo. It will happen more and more...

Commercial Real Estate charge crazy rents for shops and sites...Add Staff, Insurance and Operating costs on top of that...and you can understand why Retailers are bailing out all over the country... Rents simply need to drop significantly to allow store owners a fighting chance... Who the hell is going to commit to $5k + a month rents when a website costs $15 a month for hosting? The hay-day of retail shopping is long gone...


I think we will see big Shopping Centres and retail strips in real trouble in the near future... Shop owners won't have the money to pay for rent...and this is where the flow on effect hits all other industries. Commercial Real Estate takes a hit, Jobs take a huge hit, Lending takes a hit...The Stock market gets battered and takes a hit...and those relying on their Superannuation investments to live will take a massive hit and some may even need to get back to work...that's if they can get a job... With restrictions on the movement of materials, Trades could start to be effected. The roll-on-effect from this could last for years....and we need to take steps to get it under control right now...


Whats the answer?

Get Australian's to start a business. Australia needs to bring back Mining & Manufacturing to survive and cut back all the restrictions to employing people, or at least stop overseas businesses, both physical and online, controlling our markets. I'm sure if someone want's to work 7 days a week on $15ph without penalty rates...that's their choice. Get rid of minimum wage restrictions and fair work...it's killing our country...

Stop overseas investment in Australian assets immediately! We also need rivers of money flowing in and not Government funded / borrowed rivers to temporarily plug the hole. At the moment...our local money is all flowing outbound...out to China for plastic rubbish...and out to other Countries who own our popular services businesses like Facebook, Gumtree, UBER, Woolworth's, Coles...booking.com (the list is massive) and other foreign companies who own the large consumer buying marketplaces. We need to make it too expensive for them to operate here or if they continue...we need to ensure they pay the premium.

These foreign companies should be made to pay more tax than Australian's...not less. How about Holden taking the Australian taxpayer $$ then bailing out. Where are our Australian Manufactured Items? China is doing it all now...and were exchanging our livelihoods and way of life for plastic junk Made In China that we buy by the container-load and flog for a 100% profit. We pay them for the plastic Junk...they buy our big farms and resources. Who is smarter? Advantages should be given to Australian Companies who set up in competition to foreign interest operations on our home soil. That makes more sense right? Not sure how long it will take before that one sinks in down in Canberra... Only then will we be on our way to a robust economy...

The game has changed and it's changing faster than most of us realise. The quicker we all realise it...the better our business's will be for it...

SEO is still king...blogging about your products and services with video, outside the constraints of Social Media, on as many sites as you can on and outside your own blog, works wonders.


A mobile friendly site & store is key to survival, but you need to be able to sell your products to the visitors once they arrive. Set yourself up...don't ignore the Data! Most websites these days get 76% of their visitors on Mobile...


I know a lot of shop owners will say "We have a Facebook Page" and "We have Thousands of Followers" - Well...I am here to tell you guys... all your followers are not seeing all your posts anymore...unless you pay to boost them... The algorithms have changed and it's to their benefit, not yours. If you stick to this form of marketing alone...you will pay dearly for it...


Were now seeing huge advertising spend on Facebook and Instagram. The small money is flowing out of our country like a river with one "Boost Post" at a time...$20.00 here and there...can't hurt right? Wrong! That's $20.00 that used to be in this country...now it's in theirs. This also means the traditional advertising avenues like Magazines, TV and Radio are scrapping for business too...

Definitely, use Socials to Share you're Ads & Blogs....but don't rely on it anymore to astronomically grow, unless you're ready to spend up big! Feed it with your own content that you create consistently and the genius creators will work out ways to make their post's go viral... These are the people you want to employ...


By posting everything on Facebook directly...you are building value in their platform...not your business. A Facebook page is not your business website! You need a localised business Website...but, by all means use their mediums to share your products & services...


I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom...I am an eternal optimist...hell...I'm so positive that I just started a new Recruitment business in the middle of a global lock-down / pandemic and economic crisis. The reality is...the more I look...the more Industries I see that are about to take a massive hit...and in this, there is opportunity for the nimble, smart and strong...


You can put down you coffee cup and just grab a hard Whisky now... We'd love to see your comments...



Best Regards


Andrew Turnbull - Founder

Placed Australia





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