ARA partners with American Express & merges with AAFD
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has entered an inaugural principal partnership with American Express to reinvigorate the small business and retail sectors.
As part of the strengthened partnership, American Express and the ARA will release new insights and data on the state of small business and challenges faced by the sector.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra says the partnership with American Express comes at an ideal time.
“American Express has been one of the ARA’s most valuable partners” he says.
“This deeper partnership will allow us to expand our outreach to the retail community in many areas and will focus on supporting small businesses, driving retail recovery and promoting growth and innovation.
“American Express have been trailblazers in this space, so we are extremely excited to work with them to achieve better outcomes for small businesses in particular.”
Robert Tedesco, American Express vice president and general manager, global merchant services, admits that small businesses are critical to the vibrancy of our communities where we live and work.
“We’re pleased to strengthen our partnership with the ARA and we’re excited to be working together to back small businesses and help to reinvigorate the sector and economy.”
Sustainability will be a key focus of the partnership along with support for the creation of a number of hallmark events for the retail calendar, which will be announced later this year.
The principal partnership marks a first for the ARA as it celebrates its 120-year history.
ARA has also added another association to its growing membership base, with the Australian Association of Floral Designers (AAFD) now falling under the ARA banner joining previous members of the Hair and Beauty Industry Association (HBIA) and National Footwear Retailers Association (NFRA).
“Whist we are not the only retail association in Australia, we are the oldest, largest and most diverse industry association with a re-energised sense of community and industry support.
“Although the AAFD has a strong history of more than 45 years in advocating on behalf of their members at the state and federal levels, the ARA has long been a supporter of achieving a single, strong and unified voice to represent the retail community.”
Gregory Milner, president of the AAFD, believes this merger with the ARA will assist in amplifying the florist industry’s voice on important issues that affect AAFD members.
“The new relationship between the AAFD and the ARA will ensure that florists have a stronger voice on the matters that are of importance to the industry and also provide our members access to greater resources and services simply not available elsewhere,” he says.