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Tickets on sale now for 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards

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PEAK retail body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale for the retail industry’s most recognised awards event of the year - the 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards Breakfast. 

The 2014 eftpos ARA Australian Retail Awards Breakfast is scheduled for Tuesday July 15 at the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne. 

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the 2014 ARA Awards are shaping up to be bigger and better than ever before. 

“The ARA Awards have become something of an icon. It’s currently an exciting environment of change for the retail industry and there are countless stories of retailers achieving growth and excellence during challenging times - all of which need to be told and celebrated. 

“The ARA Awards Breakfast is not only a fantastic platform for award winners to gain recognition amongst their peers and in the media, but also a great opportunity for all retailers, students, entrepreneurs and business professionals in general to enjoy a morning of valuable insights and networking with some of retail’s finest. 

“We are fortunate enough to have one of Australia’s most inspiring retailers (and past ARA Award winner) present at this year’s event.  Derek Dyson, Specsavers Global Retail Director, will deliver the keynote address and it will be a pleasure to have Derek’s extensive experience and insights showcased at the Awards Breakfast. 

“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. 

The ARA encourages Australian retailers to be in quick to purchase their tickets as tables are expected to sell out fast. Prices are as follows: 

  • ARA members $60 
  • Non members $80 
  • ARA members table of 10 $500 

Non members table of 10 $700
 
 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
TO BUY TICKETS: Visit www.australianretailawards.com.au
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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Extended CBD trading hours welcomed by VECCI CEO

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VECCI chief executive Mark Stone has welcomed the extended retail trading hours announced by Melbourne.

"VECCI welcomes today’s announcement by Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle, of extended retail trading hours within certain parts of the CBD," Mr  Stone said.

"It’s encouraging to see the City of Melbourne’s initiative to support retail businesses and make the CBD an even more vibrant place to visit.

"This announcement reflects the continuing evolution of Melbourne’s CBD and the fact that we are a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week economy where customers no longer only shop 9am to 5pm weekdays."

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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ARA welcomes newest member H&M to Australia

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PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is pleased to welcome world-famous Swedish retailer and ARA member H&M to Australia. 

H&M’s first Australian store will officially open in Melbourne's iconic GPO building in the Bourke Street mall on Saturday April 5 at 10am. 

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman attended the H&M VIP launch event last night and was blown away by H&M’s stunning new store and extensive product range. 

“Last night’s launch event was truly impressive. The new H&M store has something for every Australian consumer and represents visual merchandising at its finest. 

“H&M has been at the forefront of affordable fashion for some time now, and the launch of their three storey, 5000 square metre maiden store has stirred a lot of excitement within the retail industry. 

“The chain, which has 3182 stores in 53 countries, is situated next to market leader Myer with its flagship city store as well as David Jones and newcomer Zara. H&M will provide shoppers with greater diversity and we believe it will be a true asset to Melbourne’s inner city retail precinct. 

“Having another well-known international retailer is always beneficial to competition, and the ARA is confident that local retailers are more than capable of stepping up to the mark to compete with any newcomers to the industry. 

“The fact that more and more international retailers are choosing to set up shop in Australia is a positive sign that the Australian retail industry may finally be on the road to recovery. 

“The ARA is proud to have H&M on board as members and we look forward to supporting their transition into the Australian market,” Mr Zimmerman said. 

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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Future prosperity dependent on a more liveable Victoria

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THE State Government must prioritise measures such as regional growth and infrastructure in the upcoming state budget to make Victoria more liveable, says Victoria’s peak employer body. 

“Liveability is crucial to a strong economy. The focus must be on initiatives that strengthen this, including employment and infrastructure, the quality of our built environment, urban design and amenity, transport, planning and community participation,” says VECCI Chief Executive Mark Stone. 

“It is expected Melbourne will grow by an additional one million people over the next decade, so effective, whole-of-state planning and adequate investment is necessary to ensure Victoria remains the most liveable state.” 

Regional Victoria plays a major part in this, and VECCI welcomes the State Government’s pledges to relocate the Victorian WorkCover Authority to Geelong and VicRoads to Ballarat. 

s comments follow the release of the VECCI 2014-15 State Budget Submission: Accelerating Growth and Building Business Success. 

Priority VECCI recommendations for building a more liveable Victoria: 

  • Assist Victoria’s small towns to adapt to industry restructuring and changes in agricultural practices and technologies and generate new business opportunities. 
  • Support infrastructure development in Melbourne’s high population growth interface areas by creating a dedicated fund, similar to the Regional Growth Fund.  
  • Investigate the scope to even further decentralise key state government departments and/or agencies to regional locations in order to improve regional stakeholder access to these agencies and support regional employment.  Implement a 5-10 year reform timetable. 
  • Address outstanding regional infrastructure and related major projects, including but not limited to:

            - Development of the Gippsland Logistics Precinct.
            - The Mildura Riverfront Precinct.
            - The Shepparton Bypass.
            - The Ballarat West Employment Zone.
            - The Bendigo Airport Upgrade.  
     
    VECCI’s state budget submission focusses on measures to create a more liveable, competitive, internationally focussed and smarter state.
     
    Read VECCI’s full budget submission at:
    http://www.vecci.org.au/policy-and-advocacy/state-budget-summary

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ARA calls for stronger regulation within Australia’s payments industry

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PEAK s Financial Systems Inquiry to undertake changes to ensure all current and emerging payment schemes fall under the same guidance as the two major card schemes.

ARA Executive Director and Chair of Australian Merchant Payments Forum (AMPF) Russell Zimmerman said the two party schemes (where banks issue co-branded cards allowing systems like Dinners and AMEX to avoid rules) are significantly hitting retailers bottom lines.

“We are seeking a mechanism that will capture these schemes along with new and emerging payments systems.

“Due to the competitive nature of retail and the increased volume of co-branded cards, merchants are unable to refuse acceptance of these cards. For the independent SME retailer as well as the major chains, any impediment or barrier to the consumer by trying to steer the consumer away from using these co-branded cards will result in the consumer shopping elsewhere with a merchant that accepts their preferred method of payment. 

“The ARA firmly believes that there is currently an unequal playing field. New entrants to the payment system are able to decide their own pricing model and choose if they wish to allow surcharging by the merchant, however, both of the schemes Visa and MasterCard are regulated to ensure that merchants rightfully are not charged more than a reasonable Merchant Service Fee (MSF).

“It is therefore only right that all participants in the payments system must be treated fairly and equally. Regulations need to be broadened to include both three party schemes (AMEX and Diners) and the existing regulated four party schemes (Visa and MasterCard) as well as new and developing entrants into the payment space.

“The ARA urges the Financial Systems Inquiry to review the cost structure of the payments industry. We believe that the effect of co-branded cards, the routing of scheme debit cards and the current and future fraud cost on the retail sector has and is continuing to have a large impact on costs that retailers are forced to accept,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Other key points raised in the ARA submission include:

  • Rule changes are required in relation to co-branded or companion cards issued by financial institutions;
  • All schemes need to be brought under regulation, not just the four party schemes that are currently regulated;
  • Merchants should have the choice of routing for all payment transactions including, but not limited to, AMEX, Scheme Debit and contactless transactions;
  • As internet transactions increase (currently at 6% of total retail – expected to grow to 12% of retail sales by 2020) and technology changes rapidly from cards to mobile devices to new POS equipment, merchants will need to invest heavily in new technology. Therefore, any costs to merchants need to be controlled;
  • As bricks and mortar retailers move to PIN on credit (August 2014 onward) there will be necessity for increased security in the online area as fraud will shift from bricks and mortar retailing to the online retail space;
  • Retail trading conditions are currently improving but unfortunately these increases are not being seen across all sectors of the retail industry. Retailers are still struggling from the post GFC and are unable to accept costs of innovation and increases in MSF that they have been experiencing from new entrants into the payment space. 

View the ARA’s submission here
 
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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