Amazon is biggest threat, says Wesfarmers’ Richard Goyder

 In Australia, Coles, International, NewZealand, Woolworths
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.

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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. 

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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’’.

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Market definitions needed to be challenged by the regulator because they were being challenged by ‘‘all markets’’ at the moment, he said.

n‘‘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.

‘‘For efficient Australian businesses to have any chance of competing with these global giants, we must maintain a domestic regulatory environment that encourages vigorous competition and nurtures innovation.’’

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Mr Goyder also said he would like to keep his physical stores open ‘‘24/7’’ because that would better suit the modern online retail reality.

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‘‘The regulations we deal with in terms of what our physical presence can be and how we can operate in a physical environment are extraordinary in this day and age where our competitors can just go online,’’ he said. Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…

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