Where next for retail and consumer?

How the retail and consumer industry can reboot in a post-COVID-19 Australia

COVID-19 has and will continue to change the world. The challenge for any government or business is to understand what happens the day after tomorrow. What are the possible exit points from this crisis? And what might those mean for Australia and Australian industries?  

The retail and consumer industry will be a critical indicator for the health of the Australian economy as a whole as Australia emerges from COVID-19. Where next for retail and consumer? takes a deep-dive into the current and future challenges for businesses and explores important insights including:


  • An assessment of the economic impact of COVID-19 on household consumption 
  • Economic modelling to explore two possible trajectories for the retail and consumer industry 

  • Understanding the forces driving change in the Australian economy and how this will shape the retail and consumer industry of the future 

  • Five elements crucial for the industry to emerge stronger

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Five elements crucial for the retail and consumer goods industry  to emerge stronger.

Digital capabilities emerged as a powerful force during COVID-19, and will continue to impact and influence the industry through demand, ways of working and consumption behaviours.

Keeping team members and consumers safe in physical retail and production environments will be crucial for economic seasons but also from a reputational and responsibility perspective.

Consumers will seek out bargains and cheaper alternatives. Retailers and consumer goods businesses need to be cautious not to create a new normal with extended promotions despite high inventory levels.

Producing, moving, and trading goods is and will remain the core of the industry. However, the paths to consumers will likely change and supply chains will need to become more adaptable and resilient to demand swings.

The sector is inherently reliant on sizable workforces. Employers have a responsibility to treat their team members fairly, especially in crises. At the same time, business leaders may need to make tough decisions to ensure long-term viability.

Contact us

Donna Watt

National Retail & Consumer Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 421 141 350

Brian Man

Partner, Retail and Consumer specialist, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 400 441 188

Chelsie Harris

Partner, Private Clients, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 1231

Birger Maekelburger

Director, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 431 429 460

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