Retail Voice CEO Message: 19 June 2024

This week, the Australian Retailers Association welcomed the  decision to again hold cash rates at 4.35% following subdued retail trade data.

Whilst this does not alleviate pressure on households feeling the strain of last year’s interest rate rises, it does provide a little more certainty during this challenging year.

We continue to advocate for our retail community navigating a spending downturn coupled with the high costs of doing business.

In political news, the NSW State Budget was handed down yesterday – seeing a range of helpful supply chain and training measures, along with additional support for women in the workforce.

We have voiced our disappointment to government that there was no immediate relief to help offset the higher costs of doing business – such as changes to payroll tax or energy rebate incentives to complement the rebates announced by the Federal Government. Our response to the budget is at .

It is World Refugee Week this week. Each year, around 20,000 refugees enter Australia, bringing with them a wealth of knowledge, skills and diversity. Unfortunately, despite our labour shortages most struggle to secure employment, and the benefits refugees can offer workplaces and communities go unrealised. Tomorrow, the ARA will join Community Corporate and IKEA Australia to discuss the talent pipeline IKEA is cultivating through its Refugee Workforce Inclusion program – as an inspiring example of the impact retailers can have on breaking down refugee employment stereotypes. Keep an eye on our  for insights from this important event.

With retail crime continuing to challenge our community, a reminder that the ARA x NRA Retail Crime Symposium takes place Thursday 18 July in Melbourne. The full agenda is now available at . Join us at this pivotal forum as we bring together leaders across loss prevention, security, industry affairs, work health and safety and cyber security.

Looking ahead, I encourage you to take the opportunity to make the most of EOFY Super Early Bird pricing on the . This inspiring, agenda-setting conference takes place 26-27 February 2025 in Sydney and will offer unparalleled networking opportunities and cutting-edge insights from the most influential leaders in the retail sector.

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.
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