PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said retailers are hopeful that the upcoming Christmas trading period will be better than last year with three quarters of retailers (75%) expecting a small yet solid growth in Christmas sales.

According to the latest Deloitte Retail Review survey, there appears to be genuine optimism about Christmas trading regardless of retailers expectations that sales growth isn’t likely to exceed a modest 5 percent.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said it wasn’t surprising that two out of three respondents believe Christmas trading is a “critical’ or “very important” trading period.

“For some retailers, Christmas trade can make up to 60 percent of yearly sales – meaning the festive season is an extremely important time for retailers to make up for what has been a tough year in business.

“This time last year the ARA and research partner Roy Morgan Research released an official pre-Christmas sales forecast of $42.2 billion expected to go through retail tills from mid-November 2013 to 25 December 2013. This figure was later confirmed at an actual pre-Christmas spend of $43 billion.

“The ARA’s forecast was almost bang on – and we are expecting our pre-Christmas figures for the 2014 trading period to be even higher. We will be releasing our official pre-Christmas figures next week.

“The Deloitte Retail Review survey provides some interesting information around expectations for online growth which continues to be greater than overall retail sales. The majority of retailers with an online presence are predicting Christmas growth of between 1 percent and 10 percent, which possibly reflects a maturing of the level of online retailing compared to a few years ago.

“It’s great to see that 83 percent of retailers are predicting higher online sales than last Christmas and over half (51%) of these are expecting 10 percent growth in digital sales. 

“Disappointingly, however, the survey revealed that retailers believe they will need to cut margins by discounting this Christmas. The good news though is that 49 percent of respondents said that they expect modest increases in margins, meaning retailers might not need to discount as much as they have done in previous years. It’s certainly a positive sign that the ‘slash and burn’ style discounting around Christmas is less likely this year as retailers fight to protect margins,” Mr Zimmerman said.

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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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SIX finalists will present at QUT today (THURSDAY 6 NOVEMBER) for the chance to win the G20 Global Business Challenge and $100,000 in prize money.

The Challenge, a business competition for universities and business schools, is being run by Brisbane's three universities, QUT, The University of Queensland (UQ) and Griffith University along with the State Government.

The competition, being run in the lead up to the G20 Global Leaders' Summit, tasked teams from the world's top graduate schools and universities with developing an "innovative solution to use, recycle and/or manage water to achieve beneficial large scale impact".

Forty teams representing 18 countries submitted entries, and the six finalists will today present their ideas to a panel of judges of Australian and international business leaders.

The finalist teams represent the University of Pennsylvania/Berkley/UQ, University of Warsaw, Memorial University Canada, Nottingham University UK, UQ, and Griffith University

QUT Graduate School of Business Executive Director, Bob O'Connor, said after the volume and quality of entries, it was an achievement in itself to reach the finals.

"Judges have been hugely impressed with the innovations teams have devised in an effort to find a sustainable solution to what is a global problem," he said.

"The new technologies and ground-breaking business and financial models finalists have developed can lead to credible projects that could one day solve a critical water issue within communities across the world."

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner this evening, held at Room Three Sixty at QUT's Gardens Point campus.

The first-placed team will receive $100,000, with $15,000 to the second-placed team and $10,000 to the third.

Team presentations will take place today from 8am to 4pm, in Room P421, P Block, at QUT's Gardens Point campus.

Team finalists are:

AFK Studios, representing the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Pennsylvania, and The University of Queensland

Nasa, representing The University of Queensland

Impacts Solutions, representing Griffith University

Team Memorial, representing Memorial university of Newfoundland Canada

BIOrangers, representing: Warsaw School of Economics, Polish Japanese Institute of Information Technology in Warsaw, Warsaw University of Life Sciences Poland

Aquor, representing: University of Nottingham UK.

More information on the G20 Global Business Challenge can be found at www.g20gbc.org

www.qut.edu.au

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There are only two days left to apply for State Library of Queensland’s inaugural Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation fellowship program.

Four fellowships valued at $15,000 each are on offer to fund research projects relating to Queensland’s experience of the First World War, both on the home front and the warfront.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the fellowship program is a unique opportunity for researchers to explore and create new knowledge about our state’s history and commemorate 100 years since the First World War.

“We are calling for fellowship applications from across Queensland, particularly those that draw attention to the untold stories of the First World War,” Ms Wright said.

“Following the key criteria — relevance to Queensland and the First World War, new knowledge, use of collections, project outcomes and project viability — fellowship outcomes may include anything from a publication, an online engagement activity, a cultural activity or product, a significant acquisition or a curatorial contribution to the John Oxley Library collection.

“State Library is a leading collector of Queensland’s documentary heritage and the fellowship program aims to make these resources more visible and accessible to Queenslanders and the rest of the world,” she said.

The John Oxley Library is a key custodian of Queensland’s documentary heritage and presents a wealth of opportunities for researchers or anyone fascinated by Queensland’s First World War experience to contribute to our state’s history.

Together with the $15,000 stipend, each fellow is allocated a workspace for up to 12 months, access to the John Oxley Library collection and support from State Library staff.

Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation, is a five year legacy project led by State Library and proudly supported by the Queensland Government, commemorating the centenary of the First World War and Anzac across Queensland.

Fellowship applications close at 5pm on Friday 7 November 2014.

Visit slq.qld.gov.au for more information and to apply.

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PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) welcomes the Victorian Government’s support in delivering retail training specifically tailored to the Indian market through new funding under the Victoria India Skills Partnership Start-Up Allowances program.

The ARA’s training arm, the ARA Retail Institute, is Australia’s leading retail training organisation.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said this funding will enable the ARA Retail Institute to partner with India’s peak organisation for retailers, the Retail Association of India, to deliver retail training in the Indian state of Maharashtra over the next three years.

“The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) looks forward to working alongside the Retail Association of India and forging a close relationship to ensure retail success both today and in the future. We are extremely proud to be part of this innovative project.

“The ARA welcomes the Victorian Government’s support in developing trade around skills in retail education, creating a significant skills export opportunity for Victoria and the retail sector.

“The ARA would like to thank the Victorian Government for this $100,000 grant that will certainly help people in India to develop internationally transferable skills in the retail industry as well as enhance the reputation of Victoria’s world class vocation training system,” Mr Zimmerman said.

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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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PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the retail industry is hoping the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to keep the cash rate on hold at 2.5 percent will provide enough stability to stimulate pre-Christmas sales as the crucial festive season fast approaches. 

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the RBA remains one of the few central banks able to offer that support to the economy globally.

“While retailers didn't receive their Christmas wish of an interest rate cut today, the industry remains optimistic that the festive trading period will soon be in full swing and the stable cash rate may encourage consumers to loosen their purse strings early-mid November in the lead up to Christmas.

“While in an ideal world the RBA would be able to lower interest rates even further to support small businesses, the fact that the cash rate has remained low for some time now has seen retail trade figures increase (albeit slightly) month on month.

“ABS figures released this morning indicated monthly retail sales for the month of September increased 1.2 percent (month on month). In order for sales to continue building momentum as Christmas approaches, and for the retail industry to return to a growth of 6 percent, the Federal Government and RBA must do all that they can to ensure that retail trade is fully supported as consumers start to plan their holiday shopping.

“Some areas of Australia have also felt the effects of upcoming state elections which may result in lower levels of consumer confidence – an issue that businesses could certainly do without at this crucial time of year. With states such as Tasmania (0.8%) Queensland (0.4%) and Northern Territory (-0.6%) all falling under the month on month growth of 1.2 percent, the RBA must continue to hold a steady hand and ensure these states return to a percentage growth closer to the national average.

“There has been talk that interest rates may start to rise in 2015 but retailers believe the RBA will need to continue to support the economy via low interest rates for some time,” Mr Zimmerman said.

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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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Contact Us

 

PO Box 2144
MANSFIELD QLD 4122