Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Politicians fail to nurture confidence among Australian shoppers

Mark Fletcher
November 18th, 2019 · 15 Comments

An important role for politicians is to nurture confidence in the community as it is confidence that encourages economic engagement, such as spending in local retail shops.

We know from consumer surveys in Australia in 2019 that consumer confidence is challenged. While a survey this month shows an uptick, confidence remains low, and this plays out at registers in shops large and small.

It is unfortunate that politicians of all sides too often prefer to attack rather than lead, they prefer to score points against competitors rather than encourage the broader community to feel more confident. It is the politicians at the edge who appear to pull the most focus in the media and therefore do the most damage to consumer confidence.

There is plenty to be optimistic about, plenty from which we can build confidence in the community. This ought be the focus of all politicians. It ought be the focus of news outlets, too. They should stop doing the bidding of politicians, running their fringe issue stories, running stories for which there is non evidence of support.

Australian businesses, Australian retailers, small business retailers especially need local shoppers to be more confident. Confidence is key to getting people shopping.

While personal confidence is nurtured by personal success and achievement, community wide confidence can be nurtured through good leadership, the type of leadership politicians ought be delivering. The right words in the right locations could make a significant difference to the performance of retail businesses this Christmas.

No, I am not suggesting politicians say go out and spend up this Christmas or go and shop local. Those statements, which I have heard recently, are not confidence building. In my view, such statements are lazy. They fall flat.

I’d rather politicians talk about the awesome local gift they found, shine a light on a local shipping precinct in theirs electorate, talk up locally made food or celebrate with gratefulness every business related good news story in their electorate.

Politicians need to talk optimistically about the economy, shopping local, the country and the future. They can do this without being political, without supporting fringe issues. and without being clumsy in their pitch.

Community confidence builds over time, layer by layer, story by story. Politicians, for part of their lives, are storytellers. We need them to be good storytellers and tellers of confidence encouraging stories.


Category: Social responsibility

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonathan Wilson // Nov 19, 2019 at 1:51 PM

    IMO the 2 biggest negatives for consumer confidence are that wages are going backwards in real terms compared to the cost of living (so people have to spend a higher portion of their income on things they need like power bills or rent or food or health or whatever and have less to go out and spend at retailers) and that job security is the worst its been in Australian history (which means people are putting any spare money they have away in case they loose their jobs or have their hours or wages cut rather than getting out and spending money and stimulating the economy)


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Nov 19, 2019 at 2:57 PM

    I am not sure Jonathan in that expensive concerts sell out, lottery jackpot sales are strong and, in the higher end collectibles space, sales are strong. There are examples of people spending on things they love.


  • 3 Peter Barrand // Nov 20, 2019 at 2:59 PM

    Rich people like yourself Fletch can spend willy nilly on whatever they want, whenever they want. The poor with no expendable cash now extends well and truly into the middle classes. You can be as confident as you like going shopping but with no money no buy.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Nov 20, 2019 at 4:11 PM

    Peter, you have no idea about my circumstances. Also, this post is not about me.


  • 5 Peter // Nov 20, 2019 at 4:47 PM

    Peter, what do you know about Mark’s financials this is not the forum to talk about people’s personal affairs.
    It’s very disrespectful.

    All Mark try’s to do is help Newsagency’s grow there Their businesses and give them as much information as possible.


  • 6 Graeme Day // Nov 20, 2019 at 6:48 PM

    Getting personal over an issue shows immaturity and lack of judgement over the issue for discussion.
    it’s immaterial anyone’s wealth re the subject Mark presented what is woth comment on is whether the subject matter has point and whether it provokes commentary.
    I don’t believe in politicians a great deal and they do not inspire confidence for me to spend.
    Spending is individual depending on descretionary incomes not political confidence.
    retailing has to address this problem of the three p’s Product, Price, Presentation all the time and today whether it’s instore or on line or preferrably both.


  • 7 SAussie // Nov 23, 2019 at 9:08 PM

    Good post. Ignore Peter person. He is probably still hungover from his European holiday.


  • 8 eric // Nov 25, 2019 at 10:05 AM

    when the price of shipping goods is really cheap. it will be the death of retail shop. people still spending and more and more online


  • 9 Peter Barrand // Nov 25, 2019 at 10:32 AM

    SAussie you have brought up a good point on holidays. The average Australian such as newsagents work hard and save for years to be able to go on an overseas trip, those with money can go as often as they like, like fletch has been over a dozen times this year alone.
    Politicians are not talking the consumer confidence down, they are reporting it as it is which they should, the average person has no excess money to spend.
    Jonathan Wilsons post is spot on.


  • 10 Mark Fletcher // Nov 25, 2019 at 4:03 PM

    Peter, you have no idea where I have been this year and for what. Stop making stuff up. Your obsession is unhealthy. Only you are responsible for your situation.


  • 11 Peter Barrand // Nov 25, 2019 at 5:19 PM

    Fletch, your life is an open book.
    Blogs, facebook, instagram, your position on the planet is documented by yourself, as well as the theatres you frequent, shows you watch, restaurants.
    You LIKE everyone to know you’re a big shot!

    Your obsession with bullying and putting people down is ridiculous for a big shot CEO.


  • 12 Graeme Day // Nov 25, 2019 at 8:30 PM

    This is a silly discusion, what Mark offers is what he should be accounted for in the way of comment only.
    Do we critisize the wealthy acheiver’s re their spending and attritbuted their success as exceptional, or as a result of that success do we think of how the did this?
    His travel and experience that he shares is mainly about new opportunities and different perspective retail opporuntes which directly relates to his core busines NewsXpress – Tower.
    It is mind opening to all wheteher this suits one’s situation or not is personal.
    Other than the information recieved it’s none of anyone elses business.


  • 13 Mark Fletcher // Nov 26, 2019 at 6:57 AM

    Sorry to disappoint Peter but only a small fraction of what I do is shared. Again, your obsession is unhealthy. I urge you to seek counselling.


  • 14 Peter // Nov 26, 2019 at 7:38 AM

    You need help Peter Barrand
    Get a life


  • 15 Peter Barrand // Nov 26, 2019 at 10:34 AM

    Thanks for the advice fletch and peter francis, will place it with the corriander(in the trash).


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