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Australian Members - Page 313

post #4681 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by fxh View Post
There is the small population argument, long distances, transport, relatively high staff costs (although I'm not sure what retail people get paid/ rental costs are in comparison in EU/UK - anyone have data?)

Sydney currently has the world's second most expensive prime retail rents behind NYC. This, however, is more a reflection on the fact Sydney has about 200m worth of "prime" shopping strip (Pitt St Mall), whereas most other cities have much longer strips and hence more supply drives the price down relative to Sydney, where supply is lagging way behind demand in the prime category. Also, "Australia's CBD retail markets are very concentrated and retailers can generate more turnover per square metre, which provides an offset to higher rents" - so in effect the higher rents should not necessarily translate into higher prices for the customer.

Also, the rankings are based on US dollar values, so at the moment Australia seems "overpriced" by world standards (Brisbane ranked ninth, Melb 10th in the world for cost of prime retail space - ahead of LA, Singapore and most European cities). For an Australian company, the rise in rental costs in $A would be less than it has been when measured in USD over the past 24 months.

All this aside, the headline-grabbing data only talks about what is globally defined as "prime" retail space - the best you can get on an international scale (for Syd, Pitt St mall; for NYC, 5th Avenue, etc.) This type of space is unlikely to be occupied by Australian retailers, more likely by Gucci or Zara etc. "Street" Shop rents are much more competitive in Sydney and have been going nowhere in the last 12 months; e.g. HK "street" shop rents are well over twice as expensive as Sydney....

In sum, I'm not sure higher rents is really an excuse for such huge markups on clothing as we see in Australia, and wages in retail here would be higher than the US, but my feeling is Europe would be as expensive in terms of the minimum wage for these types of workers.
post #4682 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince of Paisley View Post
In sum, I'm not sure higher rents is really an excuse for such huge markups on clothing as we see in Australia, and wages in retail here would be higher than the US, but my feeling is Europe would be as expensive in terms of the minimum wage for these types of workers.

I'd say the staff at stores such as Myer and DJ's get paid pretty well for what they do. They are paid, I think, around $20 - $25/hr plus commission and can easily go above $50/hr on weekends, public holidays and the evenings.
post #4683 of 51760
The $20-25 figures are about right - though Saturdays probably wouldn't be extra; Sundays and pub hols would be time+1/2. Evening shifts are usually the same pay rate but there would be a small "meal allowance" under the basic award worth about $10 for the entire shift......

But yes - the operative phrase is "for what they do".......
post #4684 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince of Paisley View Post
The $20-25 figures are about right - though Saturdays probably wouldn't be extra; Sundays and pub hols would be time+1/2. Evening shifts are usually the same pay rate but there would be a small "meal allowance" under the basic award worth about $10 for the entire shift......

But yes - the operative phrase is "for what they do".......

Its actually about $17 or $18 for full-timers and around $20 for casual staff before weekends/nights are applied.
post #4685 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobro View Post
Its actually about $17 or $18 for full-timers and around $20 for casual staff before weekends/nights are applied.

That sounds about right for many stores.
post #4686 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by fxh View Post
I didn't mean to imply I thought the markups were excessive.

I haven't read the whole report yet - just media reports - so I'm not sure what that markup is - retail on wholesale or retail on landed here - or retail on o/s price etc. There is the small population argument, long distances, transport, relatively high staff costs (although I'm not sure what retail people get paid/ rental costs are in comparison in EU/UK - anyone have data?)

One of the points made is that Australian retailers are way way out of touch on online buying.

I don't know why - I suspect they have had it easy too long - it was easy to see that books, cosmetics/toiletries were over priced here and superbly suited to online retailing - standard product - no size issues and small packages easily shipped.

The cosmetics are very very overpriced here and contribute significantly to chemist and DJs and Myers bottom line - in terms of gross profit one of the biggest contributors. Even Chemist Warehouse manages to sell EdT etc at half the price of DJs and other high street chemists.

Tony Delroy (possibly the best talkback radio person in Australia) last night had the report last night as the topic. The range of callers and experience was a welcome departure from the golly gosh sound bites of daytime talk - farmers telling of importing water pumps from China @$400 each that sell here for $1200, others clothes, shoes, books etc.

Part of the reason was the lack of any information from retailers and staff if you do walk into a store in Oz. We all have had the experience of asking a retail staffer for information to have them look blankly and start to look at the label - after you have already done that.

Compare that to just the other night I was online to a USA clothing mob and asked on live chat about an item - I was able in two minutes to get - availability, a colours check, measurements of cuff opening, etc and all pleasant and with a small chat about the weather thrown in all at 12 am while watching Dave Letterman and sitting in my warm room.

The consensus was that the only bad online experience people had was with australian online retailers.

Every caller also said the GST was next to irrelevant in pricing.

Most online buyers also buy online in Australia if it is possible or reliable - unfortunately this is rarer than it should be.

I must say my recent oz experiences have been ok - Officeworks has been good - next day delivery - and I just ordered my second Kogan DAB+ /internet radio yesterday at 3pm and it arrived today.

When my supermarket opens up a call and pickup near me at their supermarket or nearby Shell service station - as I hear they are going to do - I'll be doing the majority of shopping online.

The bad side of online shopping is rip offs by courier companies - watch out - if the GST limit gets lower than $1,000, couriers will charge for compliance costs and no order will cost less than $50 at this end to deliver.

Very well said. Agree with you re: Tony Delroy, too.
post #4687 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobro View Post
Its actually about $17 or $18 for full-timers and around $20 for casual staff before weekends/nights are applied.

I think thats about right - then you have to add in Workcover - super etc.

Quote:
A 2.5 per cent rise in the national minimum wage announced today by the UK government will danger the recovery, retailers have warned.

According to the new rates, set out by the Business Secretary Vince Cable, adults over 20 years old will now be guaranteed at least £6.08 an hour for any work completed in the country, up 15p on the old rate.

Independent body the Low Pay Commission (LPC) advised on the increase and the new rate will come into effect on October 1st 2011.

Cable commented: "More than 890,000 of Britain's lowest-paid workers will gain from these changes. They are appropriate - reflecting the current economic uncertainty while at the same time protecting the UK's lowest-paid workers."

Adults on minimum wage between 18 and 20 years old will receive 6p more per hour and 16 to 17-year-olds will get an extra 4p per hour, whilst the apprentice hourly rate will go up by 10p.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has warned that the enforced jump in wages will hit small businesses, which count staff salaries as their biggest financial outgoing, disproportionately hard.

6.08 GBP = 9.38793 AUD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ges_by_country
post #4688 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by fxh View Post

The US minimum wage is also quite low in comparison to ours (which is $15 an hour last time I looked).
post #4689 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWraith View Post
The US minimum wage is also quite low in comparison to ours (which is $15 an hour last time I looked).

Aren't there a lot of exemptions from paying at least minimum wage in the US? And that being why the base wage for a lot of services are craptastic where the employees basically have to rely on tips to get by?
post #4690 of 51760
The US minimum wage was increased for something like the first time since Clinton's first term only a year or two ago.....
post #4691 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post
Aren't there a lot of exemptions from paying at least minimum wage in the US? And that being why the base wage for a lot of services are craptastic where the employees basically have to rely on tips to get by?

Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince of Paisley
The US minimum wage was increased for something like the first time since Clinton's first term only a year or two ago.....

Yep, but it's still a paltry figure.
post #4692 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post
Aren't there a lot of exemptions from paying at least minimum wage in the US? And that being why the base wage for a lot of services are craptastic where the employees basically have to rely on tips to get by?

From 2009:: Some types of labor are also exempt, and tipped labor must be paid a minimum of $2.13 per hour, as long as the hourly wage plus tipped income result in a minimum of $7.25 per hour.

==

While $2.13 seems low - it is - when in a bar it is expected that all patrons tip a $1 a drink - it soon adds up. Basically there is no choice about tipping - if you don't tip you end up not being served.
post #4693 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post
Aren't there a lot of exemptions from paying at least minimum wage in the US? And that being why the base wage for a lot of services are craptastic where the employees basically have to rely on tips to get by?

I think it depends on the State. I have a 21yr old friend who earns $5 per hour + ~$20 in tips.

Without the tips and she'd be in trouble.
post #4694 of 51760
Many Americans tend to tip 10% of the cost, but naturally it varies from person to person. If you don't tip, you either get lousy service or no service at all (even if the latter is supposed to not happen, it does). But yes, without the tips, many American workers wouldn't be able to get by as the wages are often too low there.
post #4695 of 51760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince of Paisley View Post
Sydney currently has the world's second most expensive prime retail rents behind NYC. This, however, is more a reflection on the fact Sydney has about 200m worth of "prime" shopping strip (Pitt St Mall), whereas most other cities have much longer strips and hence more supply drives the price down relative to Sydney, where supply is lagging way behind demand in the prime category. Also, "Australia's CBD retail markets are very concentrated and retailers can generate more turnover per square metre, which provides an offset to higher rents" - so in effect the higher rents should not necessarily translate into higher prices for the customer.

Also, the rankings are based on US dollar values, so at the moment Australia seems "overpriced" by world standards (Brisbane ranked ninth, Melb 10th in the world for cost of prime retail space - ahead of LA, Singapore and most European cities). For an Australian company, the rise in rental costs in $A would be less than it has been when measured in USD over the past 24 months.

All this aside, the headline-grabbing data only talks about what is globally defined as "prime" retail space - the best you can get on an international scale (for Syd, Pitt St mall; for NYC, 5th Avenue, etc.) This type of space is unlikely to be occupied by Australian retailers, more likely by Gucci or Zara etc. "Street" Shop rents are much more competitive in Sydney and have been going nowhere in the last 12 months; e.g. HK "street" shop rents are well over twice as expensive as Sydney....

In sum, I'm not sure higher rents is really an excuse for such huge markups on clothing as we see in Australia, and wages in retail here would be higher than the US, but my feeling is Europe would be as expensive in terms of the minimum wage for these types of workers.

Its not just clothes.

Whilst Australia has a relatively small population compared to say USA/UK or even California, what we do have is great concentrations of population - that is - on the east coast at least - Melbourne Sydney, Brisbane and even (Newcastle, Bendigo, Ballarat etc) have larger populations than many major cities through out the world.

Plus our economy is one of the healthier ones in the world.
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