Business News Releases

ARA urges RBA to exercise caution before adjusting interest rates

 

PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to keep the cash rate at 2.5 percent was again the result that retailers were expecting. 

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the RBA’s decision to keep the cash rate on hold for the seventh consecutive month, although somewhat disappointing for retailers, will hopefully provide the industry with the stability it needs to sustain growth over the coming year.

“Although retail seems to be showing signs of revival, unfortunately growth is not consistent and the SME sector is certainly still struggling. Interest rates must remain low to ensure that these retailers are able to cope.  

“The ARA is also concerned that with the cash rate as low as it is, banks and finance companies are starting to take advantage of this in terms of excessive charges on credit card rates. Banks need to consider Australian consumers – it is those who are least well off that must pay interest on credit cards when they need to purchase necessary products such as expensive electrical goods when they break down.

“Indicative rates from various banks show the interest charged on purchases that are not paid by the due date are between 19.59% and 20.74%.*
 
“While things seem to be looking up economically, we are aware the RBA will need to raise rates again in due course. The ARA urges the RBA to consider business owners when looking to raise rates – we are still seeing sectors of retail doing it very tough.
 
“When the RBA do raise rates they must do so slowly and exercise use the same caution as when they lowered them in 2013,” Mr Zimmerman said.

*Westpac interest on purchases -19.59%
  Westpac interest on cash out - 21.49%
 
  Commonwealth bank interest on purchases - 19.74%
  Commonwealth bank interest on cash out - 21.24%
 
  AMEX credit card interest rate on purchases - 20.74%
  AMEX credit card interest on cash out - 20.99%

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.

Visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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VicRoads’ regional relocation a win for Victoria - VECCI

 

VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone has welcomed the headquarters to Ballarat.

"s longstanding view of the need for the State Government to further decentralise its departments and/or agencies to regional locations where appropriate," Mr Stone said.

"Strong regional economies are vital to the overall health of our state, and relocations of this nature will support regional employment opportunities.

"class liveability, Ballarat is well placed to accommodate the VicRoads headquarters and its employees.

"VECCI urges the ALP to commit to this initiative if it is elected to government."

www.vecci.org.au

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Derek Dyson to keynote at retail industry awards celebration

PEAK retail body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is pleased to announce that Derek Dyson, Specsavers Global Retail Director, will be delivering the keynote address at the 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards Breakfast on July 15 in Melbourne. 

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said it will be a pleasure to have Derek Dyson’s extensive experience and insights showcased at the Awards Breakfast in front of all award winners and contestants. 

“The Specsavers brand has certainly become a centrepiece of Australian retail. Specsavers first came to the Australian market in 2007 as a wholesale business before opening their first stores in 2008 in Melbourne. There followed one of the fastest retail roll-outs ever seen in Australia with 100 Specsavers stores opened over the course of just 100 days – a truly inspiring retail story that needs to be shared,” Mr Zimmerman said. 

Derek Dyson said it was an honour to be invited to give the keynote address at the 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards Breakfast. 

“The retail industry has endured some tough times in recent years but it is important to remember that it is a cornerstone of the Australian economy - and needs to be seen as such, not just by retailers but also beyond. The ARA Awards are part of that and give all retailers, large and small, the opportunity to show just how good they are and just how focussed they are on their customers and the community at large. 

“For us at Specsavers, as a relative newcomer to the retail landscape across Australia, we were really thrilled to win two major awards at last year’s ARA Awards. Our offer of professional eye care matched with high quality, affordable eyewear has been embraced by the community. At the 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards Breakfast I’m looking forward to sharing my views on how retailers can succeed in the face of ever-present competition,” Mr Dyson said. 

The ARA is calling on Australian retailers to prepare and submit their nominations for the 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards. 

 key information and dates:

WHAT: 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards
WHEN: Nominations now open and due by Friday 16 May 2014
Winners will be announced at the eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards Breakfast in Melbourne on 15 July 2014 (tickets available at www.australianretailawards.com.au).
TO ENTER/NOMINATE: Visit www.australianretailawards.com.au to view eligibility criteria and select from eleven award categories
MORE INFORMATION: Go to www.australianretailawards.com.au, call 1300 368 041 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

AWARD CATEGORIES: eftpos Australian Retailer of the Year, BDO Australian Retail Employer of the Year, Visa Australian Independent Retailer of the Year, Quest Payment Systems Australian Retail Innovator of the Year, Expr3ss! Staff Selection Software Australian Retail Graduate of the Year, eBay Inc Australian Multichannel Retailer of the Year, FCB Australian Retail HR Practitioner of the Year, Rest Industry Supermale & female, Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Retailer of the Year, Victorian Government Victorian Retailer of the Year and the Shop for Shops Australian Retail Store Upgrade of the Year.

Visit www.australianretailawards.com.au, call 1300 368 041 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.

Visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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Million dollar fine for CFMEU welcomed by peak business body

 

“VECCI welcomes today’s decision of the Supreme Court to fine the Victorian CFMEU $1.25 million for contempt of court because it confirms that no-one is above the law,” says VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone.
 
“There is no place for intimidation and harassment at work, attacks on an employer’s right to decide who it wants to employ or contempt for our courts.
 
“VECCI applauds Grocon for having the courage to stand-up to the CFMEU and pursue it through the court system. No other business should have to go through what Grocon has endured.
 
“VECCI congratulates the Victorian Government for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Grocon to demonstrate it will not tolerate the rule of law being so flagrantly ignored. Its support for a business confronted with unlawful behaviour, and its recent ‘move-on’ laws, have both been welcomed by Victorian business.
 
“It is time for the ALP and Greens to stop blocking legislation in the Senate that will restore the Australian Building & Construction Commission (ABCC) with a full suite of powers, including the power to take action against parties who do not comply with the law."

www.vecci.org.au

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ARA calls for maximum increase of $8.50 in FWC minimum wage review

 

PEAK retail body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) recommends that the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) Minimum Wage Panel increase national minimum and award wages by no more than $8.50 or 1.3 percent in the 2014 Minimum Wage Review. 

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the 1.3 percent increase allows for expected inflation over the year to the September quarter 2014, while clawing back the over-compensation for inflation provided in the past two minimum wage decisions. 

“The ARA’s position preserves the value of the minimum wage over the last three years, and our submission addresses the key considerations of FWC when performing its wage setting function - which is to promote the economic prosperity of the people of Australia having regard to the capacity for the unemployed to obtain employment, as well as providing a safety net for the low paid and providing minimum wages for junior employees. 

“The ARA’s submission has outlined the difficult trading environment existing for the retail sector. With most small to medium retailers being reliant on a minimum wage workforce, any move to increase wages within the sector during this time of low consumer confidence and low to negative growth will only further job losses currently underway within the sector. 

“The retail industry makes a significant contribution to the overall state of the national economy and employs more people (including more juniors) in Australia than any other private sector industry. The retail industry is more reliant on pay scales than any other industry, and also suffers a higher disproportionate effect in minimum wage increases than other industries due to deregulated trading hours and penalties across all retail awards. 

“It is no secret that the retail sector is on a low to negative growth period during this time of low consumer confidence and low business confidence in the services sector. The FWC should consider any increase on an award-by-award basis and provide an interim decision or statement prior to handing down a final decision. 

“The ARA strongly recommends the FWC hand down a minimum wage increase that is realistic and reasonable and one that considers weak economic trading conditions, current and imminent wage bill increases for industries undergoing structural adjustment and underemployment levels. 

“What also must be taken into account is that the retail sector could hold potential wages growth if costs through wages are kept under control,” Mr Zimmerman said. 

View the ARA Minimum Wage Submission 2014
 
Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.

Visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

 

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