The NRA is asking the federal government to lend to “bodily” retailers

The National Retail Association (NRA) fears that, according to JobKeeper, thousands of retailers could collapse if the government doesn't help them get customers.

While the NRA supports 6,000 government e-commerce loans for retailers looking to get online, it does say that not all retailers can digitize their stores and that retailers that rely on pedestrian traffic and in-person purchases need to be reworked and freshened up to attract customers to their brick-and-mortar stores.

"E-commerce will be critical for many businesses going forward, but not all businesses can go online," said Dominique Lamb, CEO of NRA.

“What many retailers desperately need is loans so they can refresh their public branding to attract customers and keep them afloat during this time of instability. We urge the government to provide $ 5,000 in loans to small businesses. "

According to the NRA, Covid-19 bans and online shopping have "severely affected" pedestrian traffic for retail businesses. Retail made up just over 20% of all businesses that closed their doors from June 2019 to March 30, 2020 based on ABS statistics.

And the brick and mortar store challenge isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The NRA notes a study conducted by Monash University that found Australian shoppers are expected to use around 31% more e-commerce shopping channels due to Covid-19.

Ms. Lamb says, “In terms of industry survival, businesses that were able to move to online platforms were able to protect themselves and maintain a source of income.

“However, we are concerned about stores where a customer is required to physically inspect items before making a purchase, such as shopping carts. B. Furniture, electronics and housewares stores.

“It's much more difficult for these retailers to go digital because of the buying process. You need physical marketing tactics to attract customers, such as: B. Shop signage. "

Case study

Mike Toweel, CEO of VitrineMedia, was busy helping companies increase foot traffic and sales during Covid. VetrineMedia is a light box and signage company that uses the science of "cold white light" – the type of light used in Tokyo's Times Square, New York – to subconsciously attract the eye.

“Studies have shown that different types of light cause different responses in the brain. "Cold white light" attacks the brain in a way that warm yellow light does not. This is a great light for relaxing, but if you want to get attention you want cool white light that glows very successfully. That's why it's used in aquariums, ”said Toweel.

Renish Satani, the founder and director of the new Adelaide-based cellular company Pop Phones, agrees, saying that the pilot project at his Golden Grove Village store has been so successful that he has since been showingcase media screens in his other branches around town and in the city has installed shopping malls, Hollywood Plaza and Munno Para in the northern suburbs.

Pop Phones Golden Grove.

“When we were forced to close doors during the initial lockdown, we couldn't rely on online sales like other stores and had to look for other solutions to attract customers.

“We used our indoor display case media signs to advertise our monthly promotions and specials. Within a few weeks, sales with these articles rose by around 10%. "

Ms. Lamb of the NRA is not suggesting that the government provide grants, but rather loans to companies that are currently in financial difficulties.

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