Retail Voice CEO Message: 27 April 2022

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirmed today that underlying inflation is now at its highest level in 13 years, at 3.7% for the March 2022 quarter. The ABS also confirmed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 5.1% over the same period, due mostly to higher fuel costs, higher costs of building supplies and household equipment.

We know that our members are already feeling these inflationary pressures through higher costs of doing business, which are now being translated into higher prices. Our media and government advocacy is focused on ensuring there is an understanding that price increases are a global challenge, and one that retailers have been battling through the pandemic with many absorbing higher supply chain and operating costs over the past few years. 

The ARA is fortunate to have strategic partners that allow us to access to some of Australia’s leading expertise in this area. In our Retail Review released earlier this year, ARA partner Craig Woolford of MST Marquee addresses the inflationary pressures we can expect in 2022-23. You can read his full commentary here.

Following strong advocacy from the ARA, it’s pleasing to see all states and territories now aligned on the easing of Covid-19 restrictions for close contact isolation requirements.

With Easter and the Anzac Day long weekend behind us, Mother’s Day is the next major retail spending day, falling on Sunday 8 May. We anticipate three quarters of a billion dollars to be spent this Mother’s Day, with flowers, alcohol, food and clothing topping the gifts for mum, according to research from the ARA in collaboration with Roy Morgan.

Despite continued global turbulence, retail overall continues to perform well. Figures from Mastercard SpendingPulse™ show sales were up 6.9% in March compared to the same time last year.  You can read the full information here.

As always, our membership team is here to help and can be contacted via email or on 1300 368 041.

Happy trading,

Paul Zahra, CEO, Australian Retailers Association