Retail Voice CEO Message: 7 December 2022

As we enter the final weeks of what has been another enormous year of change for retail, it’s encouraging to see retail spending continue to reach new heights. Our revised pre-Christmas spending forecast sees an incredible 6.4% increase in year-on-year spending with national figures expected to reach $66 billion. Helped by Black Friday results, this record-breaking Pre-Christmas spend is 2.1 billion more than previously predicted.

Inflationary pressures are ever-present for consumers and business, which of course both fuels this turnover and also makes the results even more significant.

Whilst we anticipate a spending slowdown in 2023, we can finish the year with the confidence that shopping remains one of the Australian’s favourite pastimes and despite our community navigating all manner of crisis – Covid-19, supply chain challenges, natural disasters and labour shortages – we have managed to close 2023 in a spectacular fashion.

Questions remain over whether we have seen the inflationary peak, with this week’s RBA announcement likely to drive a further downturn in consumer sentiment.

Whilst we remain cautiously optimistic about next year, 2023 will not be without its own challenges. The Federal Government’s Industrial Relations bill and a host of broader workplace legislation will introduce significant change and complexity. We encourage members to join our webinar discussion tomorrow with Australia’s leading retail employment relations legal team to explore the impact of these changes on your business.

The ARA warmly welcomes members of the National Footwear Retail Association (NFRA) following their recent merger with the ARA and we look forward to offering them the significant benefits of our national network of resources. Whilst the NFRA has a strong history of more than 60 years in representing independent footwear retailers, the ARA has long been a supporter of achieving a single, strong and unified voice to represent the retail community. More details here.

As you plan your year ahead, please join us for our agenda-setting conference the ARA Leaders Forum in Sydney on 22 February. The ARA Leaders Forum brings together the largest gathering of Australian retail leaders, experts and influencers for powerful and inspiring conversation and networking. Tickets are almost sold-out – register now at link above.

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