Brick and mortar retail outlets across the globe are facing a major challenge with consumers increasingly opting for online shopping.
Surveys of Christmas and New Year shopping from different countries indicate a surge in online shopping.
A Dun & Bradstreet national business expectations survey in Australia on Tuesday revealed that competition from online sellers was proving to be a major concern for Australian retailers.
''High street retailers are facing increasing competition from online stores, compounded by the fact that they are dealing with overheads not applicable to e-commerce,'' said Christine Christian, chief executive, Dun & Bradstreet. ''The situation is likely to deteriorate for those retailers unwilling or unable to adapt to changing consumer behaviour.''
Fifty-six per cent of retailers surveyed said they expected online retail to impact their business, while an equally large number of retailers said slowing demand from consumers was their primary concern.
''As the world contemplates a second recession, it is inevitable that local businesses will begin to question how this may affect their business in the coming year,'' said Christian. ''As insulated as we have been so far from the turmoil in overseas markets, a second global recession will undoubtedly have consequences for sectors of the economy.''