Retailers ignore Internet challenges

Retailers ignore Internet challenges

Retailers are ignoring the Internet challenge and are becoming more concerned over Y2K, according to survey results released last week by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS).

The research covered retailers which collect-ively account for more than 40 per cent of retail sales in Australia - including small, medium, and large players - and was not just restricted to IT.

According to Alan Treadgold, executive director of ACRS, survey results show just 14 per cent nominated e-commerce as a major issue.

"Contrary to all the discussion we are seeing on e-commerce, retailers don't appear to be very interested," Treadgold said. "Those who are interested see e-commerce as primarily offering a means of communicating with their suppliers - not as a way of winning new customers."

Other results show retailers are concerned and confused by Y2K issues, according to Tony Leibowitz, retail leader of PWC. A clear majority of 57 per cent reported they are not yet Y2K compliant while close to 75 per cent of them are uncertain as to the status of their suppliers.

"Time is running out and any complacency at this stage is a recipe for disaster," Leibowitz said. "Retailers do say they are assessing their problems but they have no way of knowing what is being done by their suppliers."

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