Retail Voice CEO Message: 27 September 2023

We’re approaching the final pitstop before Christmas trading ramps up – Halloween.

This week, the ARA in collaboration with Roy Morgan, revealed a positive projection ahead for the spooky celebration.

More than 5.3 million Australians will celebrate Halloween this year, with spending forecast to reach $490 million – up 14% or $60 million on 2022.

It just goes to show the value of fun and creativity, with Halloween bucking a trend of spending decline due to the cost-of-living crisis. You can read more about the projection here.

In other news, the ARA is ramping up a campaign for Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia to modernise their approach to trading hours.

We’re calling on these three jurisdictions to follow the lead of states that have embraced deregulated trading hours like New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

Customers expect to shop where and when they like – and they expect the same convenience in physical stores as they get online. The settings in the three states that have yet to deregulate are restrictive and don’t reflect the 24-hour retail economy we see around the world.

These issues are most evident as we head into the all-important Christmas trading period when many discretionary retailers make up to two-thirds of their profits. You can read our media release here.

And earlier this week, the government released its Employment White Paper following the Jobs and Skills Summit last year, which I attended on behalf of Australia’s $420 billion retail sector.

While we welcome the government’s announcement that productivity growth and full employment would be key objectives of the White Paper, it seems counterintuitive to push for a more inclusive and flexible labour market through the White Paper whilst simultaneously introducing legislation that will increase complexity for employers and make it harder to improve productivity, create jobs or deliver wages growth.

We will make these points in our upcoming submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Tranche Three of the government’s workplace relations reforms.

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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