Hobart 2022 Wrap Up

The E-Commerce Revolution

In 2027, Generation Z will become Australia’s “lead consumer”, said Trent Rigby, director of Retail Oasis said. This cohort “doesn’t know a world without the iPhone or the internet”. What does this mean for the future of retail?

Every retail or logistics business must start with a “digital first” strategy, Rigby said. The digital native “wants it now”.

Amazon already has the largest warehouse in the southern hemisphere, with its 250,000 sqm of floorspace the equivalent to 25 rugby fields. And three floors of this warehouse are taken up by fulfilment robots, said Amazon’s director of Australia operations, Craig Fuller. The future of logistics is “one-hour deliveries,” Fuller said, as well as eye-watering array of products.

Amazon offers 125 million products to Australian consumers today but 800 million to those in the US. “We have a long way to go,” Craig said.

Fuller said his most common question was when Amazon would deliver parcels by drone? Drones are a reality in many parts of the world, he said. “The issue in Australia is not about technology. It’s about regulation.”

Louise Mason, Stockland’s CEO of commercial property, noted that Australia still had to overcome the tyranny of distance, but densified logistics hubs in the middle rings of cities will solve this problem – and will meet ESG imperatives too.

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