I know that you are all operating at a frantic pace in the days leading up to Christmas and I have been pleased to see the increase in foot traffic throughout the nation as I travel around.
Since my appointment as NRA CEO in July this year, I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to represent the retail industry and advocate on your behalf. I want to particularly thank those of you who have personally corresponded with the NRA on the issues that matter most to you and your business in 2016. I’m sure we will continue to kick plenty of goals in 2017!
As you may have seen, the federal government released its mid-year estimates of the Budget position on Monday. On Tuesday the Reserve Bank indicated that it remained optimistic about the medium term prospects of the economy, which is heart-warming for retail.
This week the Westpac/Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment fell by 3.9 per cent in December to 97.3. Many commentators have tried to imply that will effect consumer spends at Christmas. However, this drop is largely driven by the negative economic growth readings in the September quarter. Retailers shouldn’t be too concerned about this, we know that we have seen positive growth in October and that our sales are steadily on the rise in the lead up to Christmas day. Overall, I am quietly confident that the commentators will see improvement in next quarter’s figures.
On another note, if you need anything from the National Retail Association during the Christmas period, we will be operating as normal over the Christmas and New Year. As usual, we will be closed on weekends and public holidays, however, at all other times it will be business as usual and you will still have access to all of our support services. In the same way that none of you stop throughout this frantic time of year, neither do those of us at the NRA who represent you.
On behalf of the entire team at the NRA, I hope that the remainder of the Christmas trade period is successful and that all your hard work translates into strong Christmas sales.