Many businesses exist to sell products or services directly to consumers without involving wholesalers. This is in contrast to wholesalers who sell goods in bulk to other companies, usually for a cheaper price. Retailers often purchase goods from wholesalers and resell them at a higher cost to the public for profit.
The retail sector includes companies that sell consumer staples like supermarkets and chemists, as well as those that sell discretionary items like luxury brand stores and travel agents.
With COVID-19, more and more people are shopping online. This trend has been pushed further with the spread of pandemic, making bricks-and-mortar retail shops largely irrelevant.
Many retailers listed on the stock exchange now also have an online presence. These companies sell products to customers directly through their website and often charge lower prices because they save money on renting a storefront.
However, here in this article, we provide a list of Australian companies operating in the Internet Retail subsector. These businesses are publicly listed on the Australian stock exchanges (ASX).
- Harvey Norman
Harvey Norman is a retailer that sells electronics, kitchen appliances, furniture, and bedding. They plan to open more stores in Australia and abroad as they continue to expand. With shares at 10% over the last three months, Harvey Norman might be worth a buy for investors. However, it is down about 15% year-to-date and some analysts believe that’s an opportunity to buy low.
Wesfarmers is one of the largest retailers in Australia. It has operations in the chemical, energy, and fertiliser industries, among others. This makes Wesfarmers a good investment option for someone seeking exposure to several different sectors – and not just retail – in a single trade.
The stock market cap for Wesfarmers is $50.40 billion (as at 13 July 2022). The company’s revenue has grown steadily over time, with strong sales growth in recent years. In fact, Wesfarmers’ revenue grew by more than 20% in 2018 and by more than 30% in 2019. This bodes well for future earnings growth too: analysts expect earnings per share (EPS) to increase by 12% in 2020 and by another 13% in 2021.
Wesfarmers has been expanding its portfolio of businesses recently – it acquired Bunnings Holdings Limited (BH) for $2 billion in April 2018 and Kmart Holdings Limited (KM) for $1 billion in March 2019.
- Premier Investment
Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PWL) is a retail and investment company that operates through two segments, Retail and Investment. The company offers casual wear, women’s wear, and non-apparel products.
Premier Investments Limited was incorporated in 1987 and is based in Melbourne, Australia. The company operates through two segments, Retail and Investment. The company offers casual wear, women’s wear, and non-apparel products.
It has a portfolio of retail brands consisting of Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Jacqui E, Portmans, Dotti, Peter Alexander, and Smiggle. The company provides its products through retail stores, as well as through wholesale and online channels. In addition, it invests in securities.
- Woolworths Group Ltd
Woolworths has been around for more than 100 years and it’s Australia’s largest supermarket chain, with over 1,000 stores across the country. The company was founded in 1924 as a small grocer in Sydney and has expanded since then to become one of the country’s biggest retailers.
Woolworths’ shares have climbed steadily over the past year, thanks to strong sales growth and a healthy dividend yield of 4.5%. The supermarket chain is also relatively cheap compared with other companies in its sector: its market cap is currently just $44 billion, compared with about $86 billion for Australian rival Coles (COLS) and $54 billion for Qantas Airways (QAN).
But while Woolworths shares look attractive today, they could be hit if the economy slows down or consumer spending weakens further. The company relies heavily on consumer staples such as food and clothing items — which tend to be in demand no matter what happens to the broader economy — so it could suffer from higher inflation rates or weaker economic conditions.
The ASX may be a more volatile market than the US or China, but some retailers in Australia are still showing stronger long-term growth. Moreover, economic downturns come and go, meaning investors should be prepared to absorb some losses if the economy takes a turn for the worse.
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