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New Zealand

Product shortages and casual staff could spell disaster for retailers this Christmas

Fujitsu Australia Limited

Brisbane, December 13, 2006

According to research released today, the top two things customers want when they go shopping is products or brands in stock (62 per cent) and available and informed sales staff (50 per cent). With Christmas a time which is renowned for products selling out and staff run off their feet, retailers need to take extra care when managing both their product inventory and resourcing over the Christmas period, or it could cost them significantly.

The research, commissioned by Fujitsu Australia and conducted by ACA Research, also found that when it came to exceptional retail experiences, the most important attributes which customers were looking for were friendly/helpful sales staff (67 per cent) followed by good pricing/specials (22 per cent) and available and informed sales staff (20 per cent).

In good news for retailers, 74 per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to increase their level of spending with a retailer with whom they had an exceptional experience, while 91 per cent said they would be more likely to recommend the retailer to a friend.

Vaughn Clair, Retail Consulting Director, Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand said, “With Christmas such a hectic time for retailers, many of whom have to employ casual staff over the holiday period, it’s imperative they don’t drop the ball when it comes to customer service. The overwhelming reaction from respondents to our survey was that friendly and helpful sales staff ‘make’ an exceptional retail experience and consumers are willing to acknowledge that with their wallets.”

The survey of 1,007 consumers from across Australia also found that:

Consumers are dissatisfied by customer loyalty programs - Less than 1 in 4 (23 per cent) felt that current customer loyalty programs offered excellent value, with 54 per cent believing that you have to spend too much to receive a reward. In addition, 35 per cent of respondents believed that the benefits offered by current retail loyalty programs were poor.

“If only we could have money off and points that never expire” – So, what do customers want from a customer loyalty program? Respondents to the survey suggested price discounts (79 per cent), points that never expire (73 per cent) and free products (63 per cent) were the top three features they’d like to see from a retailer’s customer loyalty program.

Supermarket shoppers want to get out of there, fast! – While products in stock was the most important thing consumers wanted when they went supermarket shopping (71 per cent), 62 per cent ranked a fast checkout as their second most important requirement, a problem which could be partly addressed by the implementation of self-service checkouts.

Consumers want technology to help them shop – 47 per cent of respondents said they would increase spending with a retailer, providing the retailer had invested in the latest smart technology, such as in-store information kiosks and self-service checkouts. The average increase in spending in stores that have implemented these technologies amounted to a significant 30 per cent.

“Retailing is a tough business at the moment. Competition is high; consumer spending is slowing; disposable income is shrinking as interest rates rise; and higher prices are being driven by increased fuel prices and a national drought. This research proves that now, more than ever, retailers need to focus on the customer and come up with new and innovative ways to improve customer loyalty if they are to remain in business,” concluded Vaughn Clair.

A full copy of the research findings, are available by contacting Liz Greene at Fujitsu below.


In August 2006, ACA Research conducted a piece of consumer research on behalf of Fujitsu Australia. A total of 1,007 online surveys were completed using a permission-based email panel. The sample was constructed to ensure it was representative of the ABS population estimates for age, gender income and state.

About Fujitsu Australia Limited

Fujitsu is a full service provider of information technology and communications solutions. Throughout Australia and New Zealand we partner with our customers to consult, design, build, operate and support business solutions. From strategic consulting to application and infrastructure solutions and services, Fujitsu has earned a reputation as the single supplier of choice for leading corporate and government organisations. Fujitsu Australia Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited of Japan. For more information, please see:

About Fujitsu Limited

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting device technologies, highly reliable computing and communications products, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts uniquely position Fujitsu to deliver comprehensive solutions that open up infinite possibilities for its customers' success. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.7 trillion yen (US$44.5 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005. For more information, please

Elizabeth Greene

Phone: Phone: +61 2 9113 9252
Mobile: Mobile: +61 433 135 681
E-mail: E-mail:
Company:Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand Limited

Date: 13 December, 2006
City: Brisbane
Company: Fujitsu Australia Limited