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Message from the CEO: 8 April 2016

April 11, 2016

This week’s Australian Bureau of Statistics results for February showed a continuation of the longer term growth in our sector we have been witnessing for some time now.

The headline figures were no doubt disappointing – showing effectively no change from January’s results. However, the annualised growth rates showed a 3.7 per cent increase compared with 12 months earlier. While this is certainly not spectacular, particularly when you factor in population growth, it does show continuing growth.

Can the sector do better? Absolutely, and the National Retail Association has been speaking to governments around the country about the policy settings that could unleash the industry’s full job-creating potential.

An article below provides more details about February trade. Compared with a year ago, there have been substantial gains in the Clothing, Footwear and Personal Accessories category (6.2 per cent), Department Stores (4.5 per cent) and Household Goods (5.8 per cent).

Within the household goods subgroup, the subclass of hardware continues to show sustained performance in trend terms, has returned to double-digit growth, rising 7.2 per cent in February compared with the previous year.

Growth in particular has been driven by both New South Wales and Victoria, which recorded growth rates of 4.8 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively.

We will now be looking to the Federal Budget for a strong and confident economic direction, which will give consumers the comfort they need to boost their discretionary spending.

Speaking of inspiration, you may have seen this week the call for nominations in the NRA’s National Retailer Awards, including the Young Retailer of the Year award. I urge you to nominate your business as well as the talented and energetic young people on your team. This is a great way to boost the morale of your workplace, and to show your hard-working younger staff just how much you appreciate them. There are also some very good prizes for the lucky winners.

Click here for the full details. This can be the opportunity of a career for a young person making their way in retail. Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of it.

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