I was recently in New York City, and went shopping. I was pretty shocked how cheap everything was, but clearly I’m just used to paying the massive markup charged by Australian retailers. Perhaps the best example I can give is when I bought Calvin Klein and DKNY business shirts at a New York department store. Each cost only USD $24.95.
To compare the price to what you’d pay in Australia, I have looked up white Calvin Klein business shirts at our major retailers, and found the cheapest at “$79.95 now $55.96”, with another major retailer charging $89.95 as the base cost. I didn’t have much luck finding the equivalent DKNY shirt from Australian retailers – at least with a quick Google search.
I also saw neck ties of popular brands for sale for USD $9.99 and USD $13.99. Of one of these brands, I once purchased a tie in Australia for what was around $70 – $90 (I can’t recall exactly).
These prices weren’t just the one or two crappy items in a bargain bin like our retailers do. Just about every item was cheap or significantly cheaper than what we pay in Australia. Particularly frustrating is that the Calvin Klein shirt is made in our neighbouring country of Indonesia, so freight charges couldn’t possibly explain why it is magnitudes cheaper half the world away in New York City.
I’m sure Gerry Harvey would just blame the GST for such a price difference, but this continual excuse of his is wearing thin.