Retail Voice CEO Message: 30 November 2022

The Government’s highly publicised Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill is set to pass the Senate this week, marking the onset of the most significant changes to Australia’s workplace relations system for decades.

While the ARA supports many aspects of this Bill and welcomes some of the recent agreed amendments made following ARA and employer group advocacy, we remain concerned about the impacts of multi-employer bargaining, and we know our members are concerned too. Read our ARA Media Statement here. Members can register for our information webinar explaining the changes here.

Our early indications of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales points to being record-breaking based on foot traffic and anecdotal feedback. We have seen Black Friday trading continue to grow strongly in Australia over the past five years – and the buzz around this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday events was bigger than ever, with most Australian retailers now offer some form of discount or offering across the four-day period.

We remain optimistic about pre-Christmas trading, however, it’s important to acknowledge that price increases are a factor in our current retail numbers and are also driving Australians to spend early to get in ahead of inflation. We haven’t yet seen the forecast inflationary peak, and we anticipate a softening of sales in 2023.

Whilst many sales are digitally influenced – with customers researching online or even instore on their mobile devices, the vast majority of sales for Black Friday remain in-store. E-commerce continues to grow in Australia, but it has settled back a little since the intensity of the pandemic and this is consistent with global trends.

We have seen the rise towards purposeful shopping. Many Australians are researching purchases very carefully and purchasing intentionally and thoughtfully – researching online before going instore. There is also a powerful shift amongst retailers and consumers towards sustainable consumption. This year in our ARA-Roy-Morgan research 54% of Australians say they are likely to buy Christmas gifts that are environmentally friendly – which is really encouraging.

With less than three months before the start of Sydney WorldPride 2023, the ARA has launched a campaign encouraging its members to play an active role in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

The NSW government expects more than 78,000 domestic and international visitors to attend Sydney WorldPride 2023, with more than 500,000 people anticipated to attend the three-week event between 17 February and 5 March 2023. Held every two years by a roving host city, Sydney WorldPride 2023 is slated to be one of Sydney’s biggest events since the 2000 Olympics, bringing up to $100 million into the local economy.

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