Is Australian retail on the rebound?

Retail turnover for the month of June rose by 0.4 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb says the June figures are a healthy change for the retail sector after only a small rise in turnover for the previous two months.  

“For the past two months we’ve seen retail turnover rise by only 0.1 per cent,” she says.

“The NRA welcomes this rise in sales and is optimistic that these results signal a rejuvenation for retail in the remainder of 2019.

“June is a busy month for retail with end of financial year sales where retailers offered huge discounts on stock before June 30 arrived which no doubt helped with this rise.

“Online retail is a popular method to shop during the end of financial year sales, this time contributing 6.1 per cent to the total retail turnover for June,” she adds.

Lamb says the recent tax cuts and interest rates reduction will hopefully have an impact on next month’s figures.

“The retail sector should see a rise in sales during the month of July due to shoppers eagerly spending their tax returns.

“With most Australians receiving an additional return of up to $1,080 from these tax cuts, the NRA is optimistic we will see another rise for July’s figures.”

Aussie retailers currently need all the help they can get so the proposed changes to the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code have been welcomed by the NRA.

Lamb says the current code is complex, difficult to understand and highly ambiguous in parts.

“Small business owners work long hours, face genuine financial risk and almost all operate with the intention of following the law. However, the current Small Business Fair Dismissal Code is hard to navigate for someone without a legal qualification and its ambiguous nature leaves some parts open to wide interpretation.

“The NRA supports a more streamlined set of laws that doesn’t make dismissing someone easier, but provides greater clarity over the process involved.

“Hiring and retaining good staff members is something that every small business places a premium on and often the decision to let an employee go is the last resort.

“A small business owner doesn’t have the financial war chest to engage in costly legal action, nor do they have support structures such as HR departments on in-house lawyers that big business has access to.

“A more simplified set of laws would result in fewer unfair dismissal applications to the Fair Work Commission, which is in the interests of small business owners and employees alike,” she adds.