Business News Releases

ABS retail trade figures encouraging – Aust. Retailers Association

PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the seasonally adjusted rise (0.7 percent increase) in monthly retail trade figures (month-on-month) reported today by the ABS followed a 0.5 percent rise in October 2013.

Year on year retail growth also increased to 4.6 percent - a very positive sign for the retail sector and encouraging start to the Christmas sales period.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the 0.7 percent increase is a positive sign that we can expect even higher results in December, when the majority of Australians start their Christmas shopping.

“Today’s figures also include online estimates for the first time. Based on the 1.8 percent ABS figure, the ARA estimates overall Australian based annual online retail sales to be $4.74 billion dollars. These retailers are Australian based, pay Australian taxes and employ Australians. 

“It is disappointing however that the ABS data does not include online overseas sales to Australia or by online category. The NAB online survey released yesterday indicated total online sales (overseas and Australian) were traveling at 6.4 percent of total retail sales. If the ABS figures are accurate, 1.8 percent of that figure is from Australian pure play and multichannel online retailers, or accounting for around a third of the online retail market.

“This gives the strongest indication yet that Australian, traditional, multichannel and online retailers who pay GST, while their overseas counterparts do not, is unfairly assisting overseas online retailers to grow their market share. 

“The ARA will be working alongside the ABS to break these figures down by category; as anecdotal evidence would suggest sales as a proportion would be higher in some categories than others. We will also ask the government to collect overseas online sales data.

“Overall, today’s online figures are a great indication that the retail sector has experienced a good start to Christmas and Australian retailers are growing in the online space.

“The largest industry contributor to the monthly rise was other retailing (2.1%), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (2.2%) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.7%). These rises were partially offset by a fall in department stores (-2.0%).

“Summer finally graced us with her presence in November and the welcome change in weather encouraged consumers to make the most of their local takeaway joints, cafes and restaurants (up 2.2%).

“The ARA was also pleased to see turnover rise in Victoria (0.9%), Western Australia (1.3%), New South Wales (0.4%), Queensland (0.5%), South Australia (0.9%), the Northern Territory (1.7%) and Tasmania (0.5%).

“Anecdotally, a number of retailers I have spoken to since Christmas have been blown away by how enormous Boxing Day was and how successful sales have been over the last two weeks. We hope this will be evident in December’s retail trade figures.

“The ARA is looking forward to the official pre and post-Christmas sales results which will be released in February and March,” Mr Zimmerman said. 
 
MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (October 2013 - November 2013 seasonally adjusted)

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (2.2%), Other retailing (2.1%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.7%), Household goods retailing (0.7%), Food retailing (-0.1%), and Department stores (-2.0%). Total sales (0.7%).          

Northern Territory (1.7%), Western Australia (1.3%), Victoria (0.9%), South Australia (0.9%), Tasmania (0.5%), Queensland (0.5%),New South Wales (0.4%), and Australian Capital Territory (-0.2%). Total sales (0.7%)

 

YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (November 2012 – November 2013 seasonally adjusted)

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (10.5%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (8.3%), Other retailing (5.2%), Household goods retailing (4.0%),Food retailing (3.3%), and Department stores (-1.1%). Total sales (4.6%).


Tasmania (7.1%) Northern Territory (6.1%), New South Wales (4.9%), Victoria (4.9%), Queensland (4.7%), South Australia (4.6%), Australian Capital Territory (4.1%), and Western Australia (2.6%).
Total sales (4.6%).


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 wwwretail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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VECCI welcomes reduction in red tape burden on Victorian business

VECCI welcomes today's red tape reduction measures announced by the State Government that will help reduce the cost of doing business in Victoria.
 
“We’re delighted with the government’s announcement because poorly designed, out-dated, overly prescriptive regulations that add to business costs need to be removed,” says VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone.
 
“Regulations cost the state economy an estimated $3.3 billion annually, so we need ongoing reform across all levels of government.”
 
Mr Stone’s comments come as the government announces a range of amendments under its plan to cut red tape by 25 per cent, to ensure Victoria continues to be an attractive destination for investment and employment.
 
The changes cover a wide ambit of sectors including mining, tourism and transport, hospitality, building and construction, farming and retail.
 
VECCI has been a consistent advocate for the need to reduce red tape and provided direct input to the Red Tape Commissioner, John Lloyd.
 
“We urge the government to now monitor the implementation of these reforms to ensure they are achieving their purpose and the estimated $715 million savings are realised, and to press-on with the next tranche of reform to ensure Victoria remains competitive,” says Mr Stone.

The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) is the peak body for employers in Victoria, informing and servicing more than 15,000 members, customers and clients around the state. 

www.vecci.org.au

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Australian retailers thank shoppers following a bumper Boxing Day with more than $2 billion in sales

Peak retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) thanks Australian shoppers for their patience and courtesy in what were bumper Boxing Day sales, with more than an expected $2 billion going through retail tills.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said Australian retailers saw unprecedented crowds yesterday with many stores forced to restrict entrance due to the sheer number of people already in store.

“Shoppers remained patient and understanding as they hit stores in the hope of bagging a post-Christmas bargains.

“Many shoppers spent hours waiting in lines – lining up to get into the store and lining up to make their purchases.

“The ARA would also like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of all retail workers throughout the Christmas period, but particularly on what was undeniably a huge Boxing Day.

“Rather than spending time with family and friends, retail staff are at the coal face, as shopper navigate crowded stores.

“If sales continue like those we saw yesterday throughout the post-Christmas period, the 15.1 billion predicted in sales will be exceeded.

“The ARA and research partner Roy Morgan Research forecast $15.1 billion to be spent during post-Christmas sales from Boxing Day through to mid January – an almost four percent rise on last year’s actual sales of $14.5 billion,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $258 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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Decline in workplace injuries highlights efforts by Victorian employers to set high WHS standards

New safety data released by the Victorian Government today confirms Victorian employers have continued to set high workplace occupational health and safety standards, says VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone.

Mr Stone was commenting on the release of Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) data by the Assistant Treasurer,  Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC, that shows the number of injury claims has fallen by seven per cent in the 12 months to September 2013, from 7.98 to 7.42 claims per million hours worked.

Mr Stone said workplace safety is a priority for Victorian employers and their efforts, in concert with employees and VWA, has meant Victoria continues to set the standard for workplace occupational health and safety across Australia.

He added that the latest data builds on the 2012/13 safety results, which showed an encouraging improvement in return to work rates among injured workers.

VECCI’s 2013 Victoria Summit highlighted the importance of getting injured workers back to work sooner, to perform either their pre-injury role or suitable alternative tasks.

It also called for improvements in the way agents and health practitioners manage injury and illness claims.

“People returning to work as soon as possible after an injury is a ‘win-win’ for business, employees and their families, and the wider community,” says Mr Stone.

Mr Stone said that while the Government has delivered on its promise of a three per cent reduction in Victorian WorkCover premiums at 1.298 per cent of payroll, it is important to consider the scope for further premium reductions in 2014 and beyond, in order to reward better health and safety performance.

“With WorkSafe Victoria recording a solid net result of $1.084 billion in 2012/13 and a funding ratio of 108 per cent (compared to 96 per cent at 30 June 2012), now is the time to recognise the efforts of Victorian employers with lower insurance premiums,” says Mr Stone.

The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI) is the peak body for employers in Victoria, informing and servicing more than 15,000 members, customers and clients around the state.

www.vecci.org.au

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Abbot Point puts Bowen back on track

AFTER 18 months of uncertainty, the Bowen community may finally have something to celebrate with yesterday’s announcement by federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt approving development of the Adani T0 project and capital dredging at the Abbot Point coal terminal.

Minister Hunt also issued approval for the Arrow LNG facility on Curtis Island near Gladstone and associated gas transmission pipeline.

Welcoming the announcements, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche congratulated Minister Hunt for using the weight of scientific evidence to put Queenslanders ahead of increasingly hysterical environmental activists.

"The staged dredging of a commercial trading port 40 kilometres from the Great Barrier Reef has been painted by fossil fuel opponents as the end of a global icon," Mr Roche said.

"Minister Hunt’s decision confirms what we have known for the past 38 years of industry co-existence with the reef. We have the wherewithal in Australia to protect world heritage and environmental values because we have a standard of living that affords us such choices.

"The trading ports working alongside the Great Barrier Reef are responsible for the export of commodities worth $40 billion a year to the Australian economy.

"North Queenslanders are also looking to them to play a bigger role in supporting inbound tourism, particularly the cruise ship industry.

"The alternative proposal from environmental activists is to shut down shipping along 80 percent of the eastern Queensland coastline, effectively hanging almost one million people out to dry.

"The conditions set out today for both projects by Minister Hunt show the federal government is serious about protecting the outstanding universal values of the Great Barrier Reef and he can be assured of the continuing cooperation of industry stakeholders of meeting environmental and community expectations," Mr Roche said.

www.qrc.org.au

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