Retail struggle in January 2020

With daily case numbers now down to single digits, the Victorian Government has finally provided some greater clarity regarding the lifting of business restrictions for retailers across the state.

From 2 November, Melbourne retailers will be allowed to reopen for trade. There will be a ‘dark reopening’ from 28 October, to enable each business to make the necessary preparations in order to hit the ground running. Fortunately, businesses in the state’s regional areas were able to reopen yesterday with a cap of 40 customers indoors and 70 in outdoor venues. The Premier has indicated that the speed in which the state lifts restrictions could alter based on mystery cases and test numbers.

As explained last week, the economic impact of Victoria’s second-wave will have a knock-on effect across the country. As Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne is a key artery in the national economy and it will play a crucial role in determining just how bad this recession ends up being. Furthermore, given we’re now less than a month away until the official start of the Christmas trade period, the reopening of Victorian retail can’t come a moment too soon. Last year over $13 billion was spent across the state during the festive period and it’s vital that retailers are in a position to take full advantage of Christmas spending. We will continue to advocate on the need for a safe but speedy lifting of lockdown restrictions and will continue to keep all of you fully informed on any developments.

On a more cheerful note, last Thursday the NRA held the 2020 National Retail Awards. Like most things this year it was a little different to past years with the event taking place online for the first time ever. NRA members pride themselves on being the face of modern Australian retail and this year’s award winners showcase the amazing talent that exists across the sector.

I’d like to acknowledge all of you who were in contention for an award, we are truly blessed to have many talented individuals and highly successful businesses across our membership. Specifically, congratulations should be extended to the following winners:

  • Aqua Gardening – Brand Transformation of the Year
  • Emma Miller – HR Professional of the Year
  • Lovehoney – Innovation Champion of the Year
  • Amart Furniture – Large Retailer of the Year
  • Winning Services – Logistics Champion of the Year
  • Nourished Life – Medium Retailer of the Year
  • Appliances Online – Online Retailer of the Year
  • Salvos Stores – Retail Career Pathways Champion of the Year
  • Esther & Co. – Small Retailer of the Year
  • Julie Anne Benge – Store Manager of the Year
  • Manrags – Sustainability Champion of the Year
  • Vinnies Victoria – Marketing Campaign of the year
  • Beserk – Peoples Choice Award
  • Emily Nuske – Young Retailer of the Year
  • Madeline Bisgrove-Turner – Young Retailer of the Year Runner Up

Thanks also to all our judges for taking the time to carefully examine every nomination and make the difficult decision on who each winner should be. Hopefully life will be back to normal by the time next year’s ceremony rolls around, but in any event it is reassuring to see the high degree of talent we have within the retail sector.

All the best for the week ahead.