High Street fights back against Internet sales

Aussie High Street retailers are involved in a secret plan to tax goods and services bought over the world wide wibble.

BusinessDay has found evidence that a government plan to tax internet transactions was as a result of secret lobbying by High Street retailers.

An internal email sent by FD, the public relations agency that is pulling the strings behind the campaign, and is paying for full-page ads in newspapers and recommends when to run the ads to achieve the best outcome and impact with readers.

FD has for a client Solomon Lew who owns Premier Investments, which owns retail retail brands in the country such as Just Jeans, dotti, Portmans, JayJays and Smiggle. It also looks after Redgroup Retail, a private company that owns Borders and Angus & Robertson.

The adverts talk about nasty foreign internet sites stealing food from the mouths of retailers who are forced to pay local taxes.

However as the Sydney Morning Herald  points out, after three days of advertising the campaign has misfired. Thousands of disgruntled shoppers fill talkback stations, websites and newspaper letters pages to complain about perceived price gouging by local retailers.

The shoppers hate whinging by billionaires such as Lew and Harvey Norman founder Gerry Harvey about competition, apparently.

Consumers in Australia are fed up with paying prices that are 40 to 60 percent higher in Australia. The 10 percent GST is so low that it hardly makes an impact.