Are Aussie retail barriers melting?

melted icecream coneOf note this week was an announcement that giant US ice-cream chain Ben & Jerry’s are set to launch in Australia.

As discussed here multiple times, Australia is a massive under-achiever in attracting international retail brands and players.

Our distance from the rest of the developed world (and also between our major cities) place us a long way down the list of new markets retailers target. Furthermore, copycat locals are pretty quick at jumping onto good ideas from elsewhere.

Food tends to be a better populated with multinational brands than fashion, variety and groceries. Franchising is much more practical here (and mimics within country practices at home), which lowers the risk and the need for hands-on knowledge.

ben and jerry ice creamWill Ben & Jerry’s prove successful? Australia is not an under-serviced market with large chains already in place including Wendy’s, Baskin Robbins, New Zealand Natural.

Indeed, Australia is reportedly already the 3rd largest per capita consumer of the sticky stuff.

Might Ben and his buddy be facing the sort of uphill battle that Starbucks faced down under?

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