27 Jan 2013

Warning online sales could send shops to the wall

10:10 pm on 27 January 2013

Some retailers are warning that if the popularity of shopping on overseas websites continues to grow, their walk-in shops could become a thing of the past.

Last year, a billion dollars' worth of internet purchases came across the border and local retailers say more and more of them are struggling to compete.

The retail sector is the country's second biggest employer, with 200,000 people working in it.

The co-owner of Unity Books in Wellington, Tilly Lloyd, says if overseas online shopping increases, it could change the face of retail completely.

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