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International: Big-Box Worries in Australia

The Australian island state of Tasmania is the newest site of growing concern about the impact of big-box retailers on local business. "Big-Box Retail Worries," a story in the Sunday Tasmanian, reports the following:

A SIGNIFICANT jump in the magnitude of "big-box retailing" in northern Tasmania has created a stir in the retailing sector.

A proposal for a homemaker centre [a hardware store?] near the Launceston Airport has prompted a backlash from the Launceston City Council, chamber of commerce and the city retailing organisation Cityprom.

A joint delegation from the three organisations recently visited New Zealand to study the effects of big-box developments...

The chamber of commerce says most of the profits from big-box retailing go out of the state and much of the product is imported from overseas.

"Only 13 per cent of turnover remains in local economies," Chamber of Commerce executive officer Jo Archer said.

"If we are going to have big-box retail we need to have controls on the size and type," Cityprom executive officer Kerry Gay said. "It is the smaller independent retailers which give the city character."

The full story is available here.