Andy Adams has already bought his Christmas candy. With the Australian dollar down 12 percent in its longest losing streak since the 2008 financial crisis, he’s stocking his food store early in anticipation of a further fall.
Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. , Australia’s largest furniture and electrical retailer, had a 37 percent drop in profit after the effects of a government stimulus package waned, curbing demand for household goods.
Keith Darley, a 34-year-old electrician, hears from the government that Australia is the envy of the developed world. Yet the father of two, who employed 22 people a year ago, now works alone and says he’ll be voting against Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the Sept. 14 election.
Australian retail outlets are improving operations and profitability in response to the challenge from online shopping rivals, said Steven Sewell, chief executive officer of shopping mall operator Federation Centres.