While it has been all doom and gloom, retail made it to fifth position as one of the most wealthiest industries in Australia.
According to the 30th anniversary BRW Rich 200 list, 27 of Australia’s most wealthiest people are in retail. This is an increase on last year when there were only 20 from the retail sector.
Making it to this is list is none other than Gerry Harvey who has long been criticised for his perceived failure to adapt to the emergence of the online retail sector. His wealth is up 30 per cent this year to $1.44 billion, lifted by the improvement in Harvey Norman shares.
Yenda Lee, from the Bing Lee retail empire also joins the list. She is just one of 13 other women on the BRW Rich 200 list, after previously appearing on BRW’s Rich 50 Families list.
Although the biggest (and probably not the most surprising) is retail property tycoon Frank Lowy, a former number one. He moves from third last year to second on the 2013 BRW Rich 200 after gaining about $400 million. His $6.87 billion valuation is underpinned by some modest growth at his shopping centre business Westfield Group.
Although, according to BRW, the average wealth per person on the Rich 200 has fallen to $884 million, down from $906 million last year. This year’s cut-off criteria rose from $25 million to $235 million.