Retail Voice CEO Message: 29 May 2024

Yesterday’s  for April saw subdued sales results, with a modest year-on-year increase of 1.3% – and most discretionary categories remaining in decline.

The continued decline of discretionary categories is an indicator that a retail recession could be on the horizon. We are emphasising this concern in our government advocacy, along with the impact of the continued high costs of doing business.

Wages are of course part of those rising costs, and the decision around the annual minimum wage review will be handed down by the Fair Work Commission on Monday, 3 June. We will keep members updated regarding that important news.

Whilst retailers batten down the hatches for a prolonged period of slow consumer spending, we recognise the importance of maintaining a focus on our future opportunities.

Innovation was top of the agenda last week at our sold-out ARA CEO Lunch 2024 – with a robust debate on stage around the opportunities and the threats for our sector from Artificial Intelligence.

We are keen to spotlight and celebrate the successes for our sector at the ARA Retail Awards. Nominations close this Friday 31 May. If you’ve been contemplating a nomination, get in quick! Details .

Thank you to our incredible lineup of speakers and our Principal Partner, American Express, who made both of these events possible.

The rapid advance of the Circular Economy is another innovation opportunity and a significant challenge for retailers. We will bring this topic to life at our annual ARA Sustainability Breakfast on 7 August in Melbourne – with an inspirational keynote from impact entrepreneur Yas Grigaliunas, a TEDx speaker and Founder & Director of the globally pioneering business Circonomy. Don’t miss hearing from Yas alongside a powerful panel of powerful retail leaders. Last year’s event sold out, and tickets are already selling fast – more .

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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