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Recently published research has revealed widespread apprehension about the future outlook for Australian retailers. | Source: Freepik
Recently published research has revealed widespread apprehension about the future outlook for Australian retailers. | Source: Freepik

Aussie retailers express concern about future prospects

Recently published research has revealed widespread apprehension about the future outlook for Australian retailers.

According to a report published by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and American Express Small Retail Index (AESRI), 55 per cent of small to medium-sized retailers are concerned or uncertain about their financial prospects.

The most commonly cited issue was declining consumer spending (57 per cent), while wage costs (41 per cent) and staff shortages (29 per cent) were all pressing concerns.

Paul Zahra, ARA CEO
Paul Zahra, ARA CEO
"It’s a difficult time to own a small business in Australia – one of the most difficult in recent history."
Paul Zahra, Australian Retailers Association

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the research highlighted the multi-faceted pressures retailers face.

“It’s a difficult time to own a small business in Australia – one of the most difficult in recent history,” he said. 

“Our small retail community is feeling the crunch as shoppers scrutinise their spending and costs continue to increase across the board - wages, rent, utilities, insurances and supply chain costs.”

He added: “They also continue to battle staffing shortages and need to prioritise and resource investment into new technology and sustainability responses.”

To address these issues, retailers suggested expanding their customer base (66 per cent) was a top priority, while 56 per cent reported increased attention towards loyalty programs.

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