Retail Voice CEO Message: 31 January 2024

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its retail trade data for December, with sales increasing a modest 0.8% year-on-year mainly due to cost-of-living pressures.

This is consistent with ARA-Roy Morgan projections heading into the festive season, which tipped a subdued Christmas spending period. You can read our media release about the ABS data .

Whilst it remains challenging to predict how this year will play out, we expect that cost-of-living pressures will continue to impact retail sales in the near future. The RBA decision next Tuesday will be pivotal in setting the scene around consumer and business confidence. The ARA continues to advocate for retail interests and a range of support initiatives as we navigate this challenging year. For more details, you can access a copy of our pre-budget submission for the Federal Budget in May .

We’ve seen the consequences of the rising cost of doing business this week with the unfortunate news that Godfrey’s Group has gone into administration – citing higher operating costs and the consumer spending slowdown taking a toll on profitability.

We will be delving more deeply into retail performance and economic outlook at our ARA Leaders Forum on 21st and 22nd February – a pivotal agenda-setting event for the year. With an unrivalled line-up of the most powerful retail leaders and commentators, we are delighted to be joined in our opening segment by influential political independent Allegra Spender – also a great retail champion. You can see the full program and our many exciting exclusive keynotes  – including innovation highlights from the NRF’s Big Show event.

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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