25 Jan 2013

Domestic impact of overseas online shopping feared

8:46 am on 25 January 2013

Booksellers warn that if the popularity of shopping on overseas websites continues to grow, bricks-and-mortar retail premises will be empty.

Last year $1 billion worth of imported product crossed the border and more and more retailers say they are struggling to compete.

The retail sector is the New Zealand's second biggest employer, with 200,000 people.

Tilly Lloyd of Unity Books in Wellington wonders what will happen to the business if overseas online shopping increases.

She said online shoppers have to realise at some point that their delight in what's cheap and foreign is going to send shops here to the wall.

More about the impact of electronic shopping on traditional retailing can be heard on Insight on Sunday.