Australia's Retail Traders Are Worried Buyers Have Disappeared

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It’s been a warm autumn and only now that it’s a bit rainy on the east coast has it actually got cool enough to don jumpers, coats and other winter woollies.

It’s a recipe that, when coupled with the plunge in consumer confidence since the budget, has put Australia’s retailing sector under pressure, according to the SMH.

Margy Osmond, head of the National Retailers Association, said that “from the point of view of the big discretionary spend retailers, they have got a store full of winter clothes that nobody has wanted to buy up until the last week or so.”

Hopefully not too many consumers read that because it could be an own goal for Australia’s retail sector in that it is a clear signal to shoppers there might be some good bargains in the next month or so if they just hold off purchasing for the moment.

Already we are seeing the impact on the stock market with The Reject Shop and Pacific Brands yesterday coming clean with investors that they will fail to meet their profit expectations this year. The impact was for Reject Shop shares to fall 12% while Pacific Brands fell 8.93%.

John Pollaers, Pacific Brands CEO, said yesterday:

The perfect storm has been a surprising shift in consumer sentiment, more than I would have expected, and the warm weather, which unfortunately does affect our business.

While the weather is in the lap of the gods, we’ll know at 11.30am with the release of Westpac’s Consumer Sentiment Index whether or not sentiment has rebounded in the few weeks since the last survey was done.

With history as a guide, some recovery is expected and indications, via the ANZ’s weekly sentiment index, are that sentiment has most likely recovered some of its fall.

Join us at 11.30am back here at Business Insider for full coverage.

You can read the SMH story here

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