Retail Voice CEO Message: 29 March 2023

With the New South Wales state election complete, we now have a Labor government in place in every state except Tasmania and an 18 month window without any elections occurring.

This provides a period where we may see significant reform and potentially for national alignment in key policy areas across Australia.

The ARA congratulated incoming Premier Chris Minns on his election and we continue to advocate around the priorities for our industry. You can read the statement from the ARA here.

Reducing costs and complexity for business, and for small business in particular, must be an immediate focus for the incoming premier. Putting downward pressure on energy and supply chain costs, reducing payroll tax and driving leasing reform must be front of mind for the new government – not only to help the country get inflation under control but to also reduce red tape for businesses in NSW.

Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade data has revealed 6.4% year-on-year growth for retail sales in February 2023 – bolstered by cafes, restaurants and takeaway, and food categories.

There were significant year-on-year sales increases for cafes, restaurants and takeaway (up 17.1%), food (up 7.9%), department stores (up 7.7%) and clothing, footwear and accessories (up 6.2%). Other retailing spending increased by 3.2% while household goods declined year-on-year by 2.3%.
The signs of the anticipated spending slowdown are becoming apparent, with sales growth in some essential categories like food now close to neutral when inflation is taken into consideration.
With that said, other categories are still performing well as people continue to enjoy their freedoms post pandemic.
Australia’s cost of living crisis is certainly beginning to bite, and all eyes will be on the Reserve Bank’s next interest rate decision.
The ARA has released new Easter projections, in collaboration with Roy Morgan, revealing holidays will be a strong focus of spending this Easter. You can read the media release here. We’ll also be releasing spending projections for Easter DIY projects later this week.
Our policy team have been working intensely on a range of important submissions this month – including the FWC’s annual wage review and the Privacy Act review. Thank you to all who have provided input to-date. We will keep members informed on these important topics and you can stay across our submissions here.
We are also focused on providing feedback around the Federal government’s next tranche of Industrial Relations reform and appreciate your input to our member surveys on this topic.
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.


Retail Voice CEO Message: 20 September 2023

Last week, the ARA convened our inaugural Retail Crime Symposium, bringing together representatives from the nation’s top major retailers face-to-face to address this pressing issue. Distinguished speakers at the symposium

The importance of R U OK? Day

September 14 is R U OK? Day in Australia, where millions of people around Australia will take the time to check in with family, friends and peers to ask if