Retail Voice CEO Message: 04 May 2022

Last week I had the exciting opportunity to celebrate high impact ARA charity partner Good360 Australia’s 7th birthday with a tour of their facilities in Smithfield, NSW. We look forward to continuing our work with Good360 Australia to raise awareness about the challenge of pre-consumer waste while also helping our sector increase its social impact, reduce its environmental footprint and accelerate the transition to the circular economy.

We are pleased to see the Victorian Government announce a new training initiative to allow hair, beauty and hospitality students to take up an apprenticeship while they continue to study in secondary school – all areas which are under acute skills shortages. We are in continued discussions with government about broader skills initiatives and our full response to the broader Victorian budget announcements made on Tuesday can be found here.

Australian retail sales have reached their highest levels on record, with March trade increasing 9.4% compared to the same time last year and increasing 1.6% compared to the previous month, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Here is a full overview of the results.

This is a phenomenal result, however spending challenges loom for the months ahead as cost of living pressures continue for Australians, with the RBA raising interest rates this week and Roy Morgan Consumer confidence index showing the largest fall in consumer confidence since January. Despite these household spending challenges, we remain cautiously optimistic about the retail recovery given the savings levels and the ongoing domestic tourism potential for the remainder of the year helping to keep retail sales buoyant.

As always, our membership team is here to help and can be contacted via email or on 1300 368 041.

Happy trading,

Paul Zahra, CEO, Australian Retailers Association

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