The debate that is raging over the sale of the All Blacks Jersey is an interesting one.
I believe that it will be a watershed event in terms of the way people shop in New Zealand and in years to come we will look back on it as a real “line in the sand” in terms of online shopping.
The Rugby World Cup will be an event that will change New Zealand for the better; already we are seeing this through things like the gentrification of Auckland. But the thing about putting ourselves on a world stage is that we have to be prepared and let’s face it less complacent. In the same way that the All Blacks have trained we all need to be ready.
We cannot think that our geographical isolation means that we are protected.
For me this has never been more obvious than with the new Adidas Team Jersey. Why would you buy locally at nearly twice the price that you can buy online? This exposes many inadequacies: poor market research, incorrect cost models, no understanding of ecommerce and its rapid advance as a credible way to shop and a multinational merely interested in making a profit.
The garments aren’t made in New Zealand so there is no loyalty here, anyone who bought their tickets online can just as easily buy a supporter’s jacket or jersey online and as our dollar gets stronger the barrier diminishes even more.
By charging a premium what will happen is that local retailers selling large multinational apparel brands will have no choice other than discounting to survive. The online advance is a slow steady one, a revolution of sorts.
As retailers it seems a golden opportunity has been missed to encourage customers to buy genuine products locally by making the online option more compelling. It is stupid and short sighted and it will come back to haunt them.