Retail Voice CEO Message: 2 November 2022

With Melbourne Cup Day behind us, we’re officially in the home stretch to Christmas.

It’s been an intense build-up, with the ABS September trading figures showing a powerful 18% increase in spending over the same period last year. Whilst these results reflect lockdown comparisons and elevated spending due to price increases, there’s a lot to celebrate in the continued retail sales momentum.

Halloween and Spring Racing Carnival are predicted to drive more than 1.8 billion worth of retail spending, and our Christmas forecast predicts a healthy 3% yoy spending increase. We are grateful to our exclusive research partner Roy Morgan for the valuable analytics and insights that allow us to cover all key seasonal spending periods.

With rising inflation now forecast to peak at around 8% later this year, we anticipate a lag effect and a slow down on retail spending in 2023. For valuable insights around the impact of inflation and other market conditions, we recommend the regular reports from Retail Mosaic.

The Federal Government continues to press ahead with reforms and whilst we have welcomed much of their pioneering legislation around parental leave, Respect@Work and domestic violence in particular, we have strong concerns about the lack of industry consultation around the Secure Work, Better Pay Bill which was rushed to Parliament last week.

The ARA is advocating for deeper industry consultation around the proposed multi-employer bargaining in particular and is also preparing a submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee.

We’d especially be interested in the views of small business and members can have their say in our submission by sending feedback to policy@retail.org.au. You can also join us at our Melbourne employment relations breakfast on Thursday, 10 November where I will be hosting a discussion on the changing landscape with a host of experts.

Small business and CBD recovery continues to be an area of focus for the ARA and we warmly welcome the $50 million commitment announced this week by Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and the City of Melbourne to CBD recovery.

From this week, NSW has banned plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, polystyrene food service items, cotton buds with plastic sticks and microbeads. Bans on other single-use plastics in NSW will be subject to a review in 2024.

We are pleased to feature an exclusive interview with NSW Environment Minister James Griffin on this challenge in today’s newsletter.

Stay ahead of the changes in your jurisdiction with our exclusive quick reference timetable of other plastics being phased out in the future. With 21 different areas of focus across 9 jurisdictions, it’s a complex area and the ARA continues to call for national alignment to create greater impact and efficiency for retailers and consumers.

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