Retail Voice CEO Message: 14 December 2022

It’s only a few shopping days until Christmas and – as the busiest season of all for retail – most of us are counting down the days until we take a much-needed rest.

We continue to anticipate very healthy results in the pre- and post-Christmas trading periods. However, it’s natural retail growth will slow somewhat in the coming year as we stop cycling the disruption of the pandemic and settle into more comparable year-on-year trading results. Whilst inflationary pricing will keep retail revenues higher, overall spending is likely to slow as the impact of cost-of-living increases affect more and more Australians.

For now, we are seeing record results as Australians continue their love affair with shopping and enjoy dining out and all forms of hospitality across the holiday season.

This week the ARA was awarded an important Federal Government grant to help address current and emerging skills needs within the related industries of Retail and Wholesale, Online Sales and Fulfilment, Personal Services, Arts, Tourism, Travel and Hospitality. While the resources are shared across a number of aligned sectors, the ARA has led the grants program. The program is being administered by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations with the funding intended to provide the new Jobs and Skills Council with a stronger, more strategic voice and broader role in ensuring Australia’s VET system continues to deliver on employer and learner needs. You can read more here.

This past weekend I had the honour of being part of the NSW Government’s initiative to launch vouchers which target back to school purchases. This is an extension of the highly successful voucher programs previously introduced by the NSW Government. The ARA held ongoing discussions with the government through the pandemic about the power of government vouchers – we are grateful to have a government that listens to business feedback and responds.

As the year draws to a close, it’s important to acknowledge the incredible work of our community in the face of enormous change and challenge – largely due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. We’ve remained resilient in the face of natural disasters, ongoing supply chain challenge, a war in the Ukraine and one of the most inflationary environments in many years. We’ve also had a change of Federal Government and a whole host of change – including the rushing through of the largest changes to IR laws in decades. Yes, that all happened in 2022!

Happy trading in these final days before Christmas.



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