With only 26 days remaining until Christmas, retailers are full steam ahead with preparations for the upcoming Christmas and Boxing Day festive rush.

The National Retail Association are proud to release the latest Quarterly Economic Outlook Report, exclusively crafted for our members. This report offers vital insights into the economy for the preceding quarter. It showcases annual growth turnover rates, the pace of growth, and essential observations on consumer and retail trends. The report is exclusively accessible to members of the National Retail Association and can be downloaded here.

This week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed a 0.2 per cent drop in sales for the month of October. This comes after a 0.9 per cent sales boost in September, which was undercut by the Reserve Bank’s decision to increase interest rates to 4.35 per cent in early November. Discretionary spending took a hit with clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing experiencing the largest decline of 1.0 per cent followed by department stores, which fell by 0.6 per cent.

As the curtains draw on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, we are rolling into the Christmas shopping frenzy. It is important for retailers to monitor for trends and stay tuned in to evolving consumer trends and market dynamics.

In critical news for members, on Tuesday, Workplace Relations Minister, the Hon Tony Burke MP, introduced dozens of amendments to the Fair Work Legislation (Closing the Loopholes) Bill 2023, which were passed in the House of Representatives and due before the Senate. The amendments include the criminalisation of superannuation underpayments, minimum pay requirements for gig workers, casual conversion rights, and changes to labour hire. The National Retail Association will continue to update members as the Bill is negotiated.

It is Scams Awareness Week, and more than ever, it is critical businesses implement effective cyber security measures and mitigate the potential risk of malware attacks, scams, or a potential cyber-attack. The National Retail Association has provided some insights on how businesses can combat emerging scams during the holiday season, and you can access the article here. 

In sustainability news, we are continuing to run our free, online ARL sessions, and you can register using this link. We have also provided additional advice on the WA plastics ban and produce bags, cups and lids. You can access the article here.  

Have a great week ahead.