As news of the closure of hundreds of US retail stores in just two days stokes fears of a retail apocalypse, savvy retailers have an immense opportunity to fill the gap.

The closure of 465 retail stores from Victoria’s Secret to Gap in the US earlier this month might seem like a sign of an impending apocalypse, but Dave Scheine, country manager for APAC at Vend says the news actually presents big opportunities for retailers to get ahead.

Omnichannel retailers who can use data and technology to boost profitability will be able to thrive in these tough market conditions, he says.

“Australia’s independent retailers, who have both a physical and online presence, and who are willing to embrace technology to operate their stores for maximum profit are actually well-positioned to weather the storm of competition from big box retailers and multinationals,” Mr Scheine says.

Retailers can, now more than ever, set themselves apart in an increasingly complex and competitive market, he argues.

“They have the ability to differentiate themselves from competitors, through having beautifully curated products, offering inspiring in-store experiences and developing customer loyalty in personalised ways, that the major chains can’t compete with,” he says.

Retailers who leverage data to enhance the customer experience will also have an upper-hand, he says.

“They’ll become more profitable, save time and have a loyal customer base, because they can easily manage inventory, collect customer data, re-order and track sales from anywhere, anytime.”

Good news for Aussie retailers

The call comes after new research revealed that the monthly revenue of Australia’s independent retailers from June 2017 to June 2018 was 18 per cent higher than the global average, signalling an optimistic future for Aussie retailers.

The Retail Benchmarks Report from Vend compared data from over 13,000 retailers with a particular focus on Australia, New Zealand, North America and the United Kingdom and found Australian retailers’ average monthly revenues were also 17% higher than in North America and 37% higher than the UK.

Transaction values are also significantly higher in the Australian market, according to the research, with the amount spent in a retail store per transaction the highest of all the main markets, 5% higher than the global average.

The data is good news for Australian retailers, with spending habits much stronger than overseas markets suggesting that for Australian retailers the time is ripe to get ahead.