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.

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.

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