The service, known as the Australian Retail Index (ARI), will operate across four key categories: fashion and accessories, furniture and homewares, sporting and recreational goods, and other general retail.
BDO’s national retail lead partner, Simon Scalzo, says there is nothing like the index on the market today, with the service far more detailed and timely than anything currently available.
“Our information will enable retailers to react to upturns and downturns in business as and when they happen. It will give them access to market intelligence quicker than ever before, enabling streamlined decision-making,” Mr Scalzo said.
“More international retailers are making their presence felt in Australia (for instance, H&M just launched here in the past few weeks) and the rise in online retailing means those involved in bricks and mortar need to be a lot smarter,” he said.
Phase one – to be launched later this month – compares the percentage change in sales in each category from week to week, listing sales dating back to December 2012.
“Retailers will be able to benchmark their performance against the market and their peers and make time-sensitive decisions about their businesses,” Mr Scalzo said.
Phase two of the ARI – to be introduced later this year – will be a subscription model, providing more detailed information.
While phase one will remain freely available, phase two will provide daily updates and a state-by-state breakdown. Data will be divided into metropolitan and regional sales.
Retailers who subscribe will also be able to look at the average size of customers’ purchases and return rates.
The Australian Retail Index will be available on computers, tablets and smartphones via a secure app.