Retail Voice CEO Message: 16 November 2022

It’s little more than a week until Black Friday and Cyber Monday and our sales forecasts remain optimistic. This week saw the first increase in consumer confidence in seven weeks with the Roy Morgan index bouncing 2.1pts.

Our ARA Roy-Morgan Black Friday forecasts predict a record $6.2 billion will be spent – an increase of $200 million on 2021. To help you with all your holiday trading plans, we’ve published a round-up of all Extended Christmas/January Trading Hours 2022-23 and will continue to keep this page updated.

Unfortunately, supply chains have been put under even more pressure this week with the ongoing threat of industrial action. This, alongside a major train disruption and on top of existing supply chain challenges, is a reminder about the growing need for contingency planning. Whether it be due to extreme weather events or other challenges, we need to ensure there are options and sufficient resilience within the supply chain. It also highlights the need for industrial relations reform to avoid drawn out and difficult bargaining decisions that end up having greater impacts for the wider economy.

Debate continues to rage around the Federal Government’s Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill, and the ARA has presented at the Federal Committee on Monday and you can read a copy of my speech here. Our full ARA submission can be found here.

Whilst we support many of the elements of the Bill, we believe the proposal around multi-employer bargaining will create confusion, add cost and complexity, and result in more disputes and fewer enterprise agreements being reached. We will remain a strong voice in this discussion and will continue to keep members informed as this progresses.

Our next hallmark event is the ARA Leaders Forum – taking place in-person for the first time on 22 February. This promises to be a very special event with an incredible line up of some of our most powerful voices in retail on stage and in the audience. Tickets are close to sold out – grab yours this week using this link

As COP 27 draws to a close, we are reminded of the challenges ahead of us on a sustainability front. Our Australian retail leaders have already committed to some incredible innovations and emissions reduction schemes. Yet there is so much more to do. Those wanting to know more about how to create a practical sustainability roadmap can tune into our ARA webinar on Thursday around retail sustainability. Register here.



The rich tapestry of neurodiversity

There is a slow shift towards incorporating design aspects that create more inclusive shopping experiences for customers of all neurotypes. Retailers willing to explore this hidden customer segment can deliver a more easy, engaging and inclusive experience both in-store and online.

Retail Voice CEO Message: 15 March 2023

Retail crime continues to be a concern with many businesses recording an increase in shoplifting. 
In the latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data coming out of New South Wales, retail theft increased 23.7% year-on-year.  

Retailers have an important role to play in closing the gap

Today is National Closing the Gap Day, a day of action to pledge support for achieving indigenous health equality by 2030. As part of the ARA’s reconciliation journey, we have made a commitment to use our reach to raise awareness with our members about days of significance for First Nations communities, like Closing the Gap Day.