Retail Voice CEO Message: 1 March 2023

This week we’re excited to launch the 2023 ARA Retail Insights Report – our annual overview of the retail outlook.

The way the retail sector is perceived, and its public profile is essential to our long-term success. From government advocacy to career choices and customer preferences, quality data and insights form the cornerstone of conversations and decisions about our industry.

This year’s edition boasts a total of 16 truly expert commentators, weighing in on current and future trends and expectations for the industry.

And for the first time, our Digital Dashboard will launch – featuring a continuously updated display of all the key retail statistics. This promises to be a great way to stay in touch with our industry’s vital statistics.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ January retail trade data revealed solid year-on-year growth for retail sales in January 2023 – an increase of 7.5% on the same time the previous year.

Shoppers celebrated the New Year in their stride, spending more than $35 billion across the country. There were significant year-on-year sales increases for cafes, restaurants, and takeaway (up 26.3%), department stores (up 16.6 %) and clothing, footwear and accessories (up 17.5%).

While we’re aware that challenging times lie ahead, retailers can be proud of these results given the current economic landscape.

A call out to ARA Members Woolworths and Coles for their leadership in creating a plan to help save thousands of tonnes of recyclable material from landfill last week.
The collapse of REDCycle which affects many retail brands was a chink in the armour of vital sustainability efforts across the sector – so it’s great news that a solution is in the works.
Last week we hosted the much-anticipated Leaders Forum in Sydney. With more than 30 expert speakers and presentations – we will be sharing insights and news from the event in the weeks to come. Be sure to follow the Australian Retailers Association on LinkedIn and other social media for the highlights.
Off the back of such a successful event, we’re proud to announce that the 2024 Leaders Forum will be a two-day showcase! Save the date today for 21 – 22 February.
And don’t forget the ARA’s inaugural lunch in recognition of International Women’s Day. Tickets are still available here.
WorldPride continues this week, and the efforts so far by organisers and our retail community have been outstanding. Some highlights from this spectacular event are below.
As always, our membership team is here to help if you need any assistance, so don’t hesitate to reach out via email or on
1300 368 041.


MST Marquee – The impact of migration on retail

Retail businesses setting budgets and forecasting are understandably finding it difficult to navigate the uncertain economic conditions. Our research can help educate retailers about industry profitability benchmarks, wage growth and inventory levels, so that businesses can better prepare for the future.

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Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released retail trade data for March, with a modest increase of just 0.8% compared to the same month last year, despite being bolstered by