Retail struggle in January 2020

It’s hard to believe that we’re already almost one month into 2020, proof there certainly is no rest for those in retail!

Many headlines continue to be devoted to the tough time that retail has experienced in the last 12 months and the number of brands that have collapsed. As foreshadowed in the last CEO Message, the NRA is close to finalising a package which we will advocate to governments at all levels in a bid to rejuvenate the sector.

In the meantime, I urge any of you interested, particularly if you’re a small or medium operator, to register for our upcoming webinar this Friday 31 January with Professor Gary Mortimer from the QUT Business School. At the NRA, we pride ourselves on providing all our members with the necessary resources and tools to help you navigate the various challenges that come with operating a retail business

In this free webinar, Professor Mortimer will be addressing the topic of ‘technology in retail’ and will focus on the various promotional techniques and types of data to analyse when measuring the success of your strategies.

The webinar will give you the tools to achieve successful and profitable promotion by stepping through techniques such as bundling and percentages. Professor Mortimer will also cover the different wants and priorities of buyers and help you choose the correct promotional strategy for your target market. You can register for free here and watch a preview video from Professor Mortimer here.

In other news, the NRF Big Show retail conference in New York has wrapped up.  It was great to learn what retailers around the world are doing along with emerging trends. Some of the more interesting topics canvassed at the conference included:

  • Tech – A focus on technology that is soon to sweep retail such as robots that scan aisles; facial recognition that can read things such as mood, demographic and sex; and avatars of a customer’s body that are uploaded to online apparel sites.
  • Experiential shopping – family stores that provide experiences such as interactive activities for children, hidden doors that unlock other parts of the store and activities such as sing-alongs, yoga, arts and crafts, and date-night drop-off services for parents.
  • E-retail – Ways to improve e-retail globally, along with its importance to economies around the world.

It was also great for NRA Board Member and NORA CEO Paul Greenberg and I to appear on the MouthMedia podcast while at the conference. We had a remarkable discussion about the Australian bush fires and how Australian retailers have responded, along with the state of retail in Australia overall. For those interested, a link to the audio can be found here:


Have a great week!