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Message from the CEO: 19 February 2016

February 22, 2016

Over the past few weeks I’ve spoken with you about the broader national interest after spending time in Canberra, particularly issues surrounding taxation and the Budget.  This week, I’d like to focus discussions back towards the association, in order to highlight a number of opportunities we’ve launched for members in coming months, particularly relating to innovation, technology and marketing in the digital economy.
As the path to purchase continues to evolve, so too must retailers’ marketing strategies.  Australian retailers have shown their willingness and aptitude when it comes to social-driven ecommerce, data analytics and the amalgamation of instore and online channels, but our feedback suggests a great deal of retailers are seeking out information that is far more industry-specific, in a sea of education offerings.
In response, we will be kicking off the next round of Innovation and Technology Committee meetings in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane next month.  These meetings will offer delegates the chance to discuss insights from the 2016 New York NRF Big Show – retail’s biggest international conference.
They will connect members with exhibitors and attendees including CloudFirst, Microsoft and Live Tiles, and they will explore potentially game-changing ideas and techniques that you can start implementing in your own retail business.
We’ve also partnered with a boutique digital education consultant, Sofistika, as an extension to our digital business kits, to bring you a series of three digital workshops which begin on March 1. Connecting your retail business in the digital world, Mobile wallet – a cashless future, and The retail store of the future workshops have been designed to help you recognise and utilise the most modern tools for making your retail business more visible in an increasingly competitive digital landscape, as well as identifying potential risks with tips on how to mitigate them.
By learning the latest techniques, and adapting the business’s tools and methods accordingly, shrewd Australian retailers will be better placed to address the needs, wants and interests of customers in an increasingly competitive environment.
Your association will be rolling out further workshops and support activities for members throughout 2016.  I urge you to take advantage of them if you can.

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