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Message from the CEO: 12 November 2019

doms column

Last week’s ABS retail figures demonstrated that retail spending is still yet to awaken from its slow sales slumber.

Although turnover across the sector rose by 0.2 per cent for September, it was still below what the NRA and many commentators were predicting. While it’s certainly too early to say that measures such as cuts to income taxes and interest rates haven’t worked, there also hasn’t been an immediate rebound in a way we would have hoped.

There is no silver bullet when it comes to turbocharging consumer spending.  But in these conditions, we implore elected representatives and institutions with economic oversight to explore all possible options. Measures such as fast-tracking income tax cuts yet to come into effect, stimulus packages to boost consumer spending or even a further reduction to interest rates are all options worth canvassing.

Last week Finance Minister Mathias Cormann did note that the Government would consider bringing forward tax reductions legislated for 2022. While Bill Evans, the Chief Economist at Westpac, has proposed a middle ground solution that phases in the next stage of tax cuts over the next two years and doesn’t jeopardise the budget surplus. Again, none of these ideas will work like a magic wand, but are all worthwhile options when it comes to stimulating spending.

With the Christmas trade period set to begin we anticipate a natural increase in economic activity. However, as you’re all well aware, many retailers will need a strong holiday season to compensate for slower sales in the year to date.

In the meantime, we do wish you all the best as you begin decorating your stores and implementing strategies for the Christmas period. Hopefully we do start to see a solid uptick in business activity and you all see a healthy boost to your bottom-line.

All the best for the week ahead!