Trevor Queen Street

NSW and Queensland governments are both looking at banning plastic shopping bags.

This issue has long been debated by governments over the years. Some of Australia’s less populous states and territories have already implemented bans of certain types of plastic bags.

Bans are a blunt policy response to most problems but, of course, proponents for banning bags are well-intentioned and we respect their motivations. The trick is always in the detail with plans like these.

What we may ultimately see is the banning of certain lightweight, single-use types of plastics bags, which can be moved easily by wind, rain and weather, while still allowing heavier plastics, paper bags, biodegradable options and the multi-use bags already available for purchase in some stores.

It has been encouraging to see governments approaching your association and inviting us to the table to ensure that retailers’ views are taken into account as these plans are considered.

We look forward to being a strong voice for retailers in the ongoing discussions, including on important considerations such as national consistency, food safety risks with reusable bags, the impacts and options for small businesses such as those in the fast food, quick service and bakery categories, the aversion to extra costs in some lower income households, and the special considerations for indigenous community stores and tourist operators close to the Great Barrier Reef and other environmental hotspots.

We also appreciate and invite any views or input that you may have as this work continues.

In other news, we have a comprehensive line up of events and workshops coming up which may be of benefit for you, your colleagues or your team:

Digital retailing: as members, you already have access to The Digital Business Kits for Retailers, which explores industry-specific information and resources to assist you with engaging in the digital economy. We’re taking this one step further by holding three ‘live’ digital workshops next week to help you connect your retail business in the ever-changing digital world.

Visual merchandising: we are holding a workshop to equip retailers with a comprehensive understanding of the requirements for displays, as well as provide practical examples on how to plan and build displays and will assist attendees with developing creative ideas for displays.

Innovation & technology: global insights and learnings from the NYC NRF Big Show will be shared at the Innovation & Technology events next month, which is relevant for professionals across marketing, IT, customer experience, and business development.

7-Eleven underpayment case review: we are very lucky to have investigators from the Fair Work Ombudsman present to our members on how the high profile 7-Eleven case was investigated and developed. Contact us to find out more about these invite only events.

Customer service: One of the keys to a successful retail career is a comprehensive understanding and appreciation for customer service coupled with practical know how. In March, we’re running a one day interactive and practical customer service workshop that will show attendees how to develop a deeper understanding of customers’ needs and how to establish long-term relationships and mutual trust with customers.

To register for these upcoming training workshops or find out more information, head to the events section of our website.