Mark Twain once famously said that ‘reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated’.
And so it proved last Friday when, just hours after some had been declaring that there was a ‘retail recession’, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) sales figures for June saw a healthy spike in turnover for the month.
In the final month of the 2018-19 financial year, retail sales soared by 0.4 per cent, a welcome sign following underwhelming results in previous months. But what’s also important to note is that last week’s figures don’t include the impact of the personal tax cuts or the latest reduction in interest rates (both of which took place in July).
This does not mean that retail is out of the woods and there are still challenges ahead, however, there is reason to be optimistic that retail is breaking from its slumber and is ready to surge in the second-half of 2019.
Also, last week the NRA participated in the SDA’s second National Customer Abuse & Violence Industry Roundtable. As the second-largest employer of any industry in Australia, retail has hundreds of thousands of dedicated and professional workers operating right across the country. And while the old adage that ‘the customer is always right’ applies strongly in our industry, it doesn’t extend the right to anyone to verbally or physically abuse retail staff.
Those who work for NRA members deserve to operate in a safe work environment that doesn’t see them unfairly bagged for simply doing their job. I was proud to be able to support this initiative and urge all of you to take a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to customer abuse and violence.
All the best for the week ahead!