Getting realistic about personalisation

Creating a highly personalised in store experience is retail nirvana. Yet with limited numbers of Store Associates managing stock and display as well as customers, is personal service always an option? And with technology in-store on the rise the temptation to overload the Store Associate with...

How to outsmart the competition using HR technology

As more and more global retail giants enter Australia, it places a spotlight on the demand for more rigorous HR processes to ensure workforce compliance obligations are being met and the importance for niche retailers to up their HR game as a competitive strategy.

Managing your Fair Work obligations.

The last 12 months has seen some very recognisable Australian businesses hit with huge fines from Fair Work Australia for failing to pay their staff accurately. More than ever businesses are asking: how do I make sure my business is paying staff correctly and is Fair Work compliant?

All for one and one for all: how the future of retail lies in employee engagement

Like any industry, those working in retail can easily get jaded by repetitive routine. With the retail industry known for its high attrition rate, business owners and managers need to create a workplace that will attract, retain and engage employees so they aren't simply waiting for the clock to...

GPT launches Retail Runner – you shop it, we drop it

Melbourne Central is offering customers a new service to shop in person and have purchases delivered anywhere within 20 km on the same day.

The Customer Experience Begins and Ends with Customer Service

The customer experience is increasingly becoming the key differentiator that bricks-and-mortar have in their arsenal to fight against Amazon. Often, when retailers talk about customer experience, they think about investment in new technologies including upgrading their Enterprise Resource...

Risk Assessment and Control

After identifying hazards the next step is to assess the risks to health and safety that they pose. A risk is the chance, however big or small, of a hazard actually causing harm.

Speeding up checkout lines to improve the customer experience

With stiff competition from online sellers, the onus is on retailers to provide a unique experience in-store, and to increase the incentive for customers making a purchase. However, in order to maximise the success of any storefront, retailers need to take advantage of every opportunity and...

Simple, Speedy and Seamless Customer Experience

Retailers need to excel at customer experience in order to thrive and survive

Consumer Spending on Experiences Increases

Consumers are increasingly looking for experiences to spend their money on such as dining out, buying theatre or concert tickets and staying at hotels according to a recent consumer data report from NAB.

Tips & tricks: How to make the most of this year’s Christmas shopping period

Kick starting in the middle of November is Australia’s Christmas buying season, with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), in partnership with Roy Morgan Research recently predicting Aussie shoppers to spend more than $50 billion on Christmas shopping this year alone. Experts also predict...

Who’s Spending Money and Who’s Just Wasting Time?

You walk into a store looking for a new outfit, it takes you around 10 minutes to pick out a few items, but it’s fun so who’s counting. You then spend 4 minutes waiting for help on sizing, ok they’re busy. Could I now be bothered waiting to try these on? 5 min’s later you finally get a change...

Observations of Frustration

The customer journey is littered with possible frustrations. Observation can become a powerful tool for key improvements.

Accessorial Liability – Are you at risk?

Looking deeply at Accessorial liability and how retailers can manage their risks.

Selling Slow Stock

One of the rules of my retail shop, with regards to slow moving stock, was MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT – SELL IT.  If a product was moved around the shop floor 3 times and still hadn’t motivated a customer to buy it, then it has to go. We have all purchased a product we were sure would be a hot...

Automation: Achieving Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction

Transforming your automatic emails from mindless to meaningful

Retail Rated Third Most Trustworthy Industry

Eighty-three percent of consumers globally rate transparency and ethical behaviour as vital to building trust, according to SAI Global’s inaugural Consumer Trust Index. Topping the list at 88 percent is a reputation for good quality products and services.

Top 5 Ways to Improve Employee Morale

Motivation cannot be imposed from the outside, like a rule! It comes from within, and as such, to raise motivation levels among employees, the workplace needs to offer something that connects to the personal needs of individuals.

A Crash Course in Customer-Centricity

Customer-centricity. We’ve all heard the jargon, and for the most part understand what it means. To put it simply, it’s about making the customer the centre of your business’ universe – every product, every touch point and every experience built around their needs and desires. It’s a powerful...

Technology and Customer Service

Telephone Procedures Telephones are a form of communication that will need to be used to contact customers, other stores and team members. It is therefore essential to understand how to use it effectively and within company standards.

What Can Local Retailers Learn From Overseas Entrants?

Zara, H&M, Uniqlo and TK Maxx are a few global giants successfully selling apparel within Australia at discounted prices. So what is it we can learn from them? 

How to Employ Right to Reach your Financial Goals

Summer, peak season and Christmas trade is only just around the corner.  So it’s now that you need to start planning. 

Communicating With Customers

What is Communication?

7 Great Examples of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

There is a need to make workplaces more ‘emotionally intelligent,’ i.e. having more emotionally intelligent people on your books.

Vulnerable Workers Legislation Passes Through Senate

The Senate last Monday (September 4)  passed tough new laws that will see penalties of up to $630,000 for employers who knowingly underpay their employees.

Think Like Your Customer: 4 Facts You Didn't Know

In business it’s all too easy to focus on the bottom line and gradually lose touch with the ever changing and developing needs of your customers. Although 72% of businesses say that improving their customer experience is their top priority,* it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and fail to implement...

Top Buys and Specials this Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner, there will inevitably be those of us doing a last minute dash for a gift to give to the special man we call dad.

What’s a ‘like’ on Social Media Really Worth for Your Brand?

Social media delivers a platform for retailers to engage with their customers on a greater level than ever before. Studies show that 85 per cent of consumers make brand decisions based upon social media influences, and those who do follow a brand on social media are more likely to make a...


Creditability in a noisy and competitive retail market can give you the competitive edge against your competitors you have been looking for.  When was the last time you had a look at your own reviews on your social media site, website or even eBay site?  When was the last time you checked out a...

In defence of the humble loyalty card

In this digital era, it’s easy to think of loyalty cards in very simplistic terms – a punch card for the local café or takeaway place, entitling you to a free item when you hit a certain number of visits. But this is an outdated way of looking at the concept; loyalty card schemes can aid in...

Aussies Spending More On-Line than In-Store

New research reveals that the online shopping experience is outpacing the instore experience, with 56 per cent of Aussie shoppers admitting they spend more at one single online store compared within a single bricks and mortar store. The online returns service, however, is lagging, with 30 per...

Are you listening to your customers?

Everyone in retail knows that customers are the lifeblood of your business, but do you listen to your customers?  Really listen?

Giving your customers the personal touch they need

Based on our attitudes towards future tech, Australia is one of the top three countries in the world ready for an omnichannel revolution. This is great news for brick-and-mortar retailers who are looking to better integrate all of their channels, or those looking to reclaim territory from purely...

Why Pop-Up Shops will Always be Popular

Engagement with customers lays behind the success of pop-up shops.  

Enterprise-grade OMS Key to Omni-channel Customer Service

Retailers across the globe have dedicated themselves over the last 7 to 10 years to optimise their front-end sales processes and systems, often investing in an enterprise-grade commerce platform as one of the cornerstones of their transformation to an omni-channel operating model. 

Retailers can now celebrate tax fairness

On Monday the 19th of June, the Australian retail industry received a big win, with the Parliament passing the low-value GST legislation for offshore tangible goods under $1000. This legislation will mean Australian retailers will be able to trade on the same level playing field as international...

Stores to Play Greater Role in Fulfilment of Online Orders

Retail businesses are changing rapidly. Bricks-and-mortar stores are today just part of a retailer’s broader commerce strategy and their days of operating as the only sales channel are well and truly over. However, after a decade or so of focusing on building and optimising digital channels,...

Hiring New Staff: Focus on Who, Not When

Employers are becoming too fixated on when a job position needs to be filled leading to high staff turnover that is costly for companies and a HR nightmare.

How Australian retailers can prepare for the arrival of Amazon

There is increasing evidence that retail giant Amazon is expanding into the Australian market, and have its Australian website and local distribution centres operational by the end of 2018.

Tips and Tricks for Addressing Absenteeism

Costing Australia over $32.5 billion per year, workplace absenteeism is not something to be taken lightly. It is extremely destructive, both financially and in regards to workplace morale and productivity, and the ARA Telephone Advisory Service receives hundreds of calls every year from...

Review and evaluate approaches to recruitment

Recruitment and selection is the funnel through which talent is brought into an organisation. It is of value to establish measures for the review and evaluation of related policies and procedures to ensure that the objectives of recruitment strategies are in actuality being realised.

Three reasons retailers need to embrace industry change

No matter what industry you work in, it’s likely you’re witnessing the impact that advances in technology have on your workplace, whether it’s on the way you work, the tools you work with, or the way you interact with your customers.

Lights, camera, privacy!

New video surveillance technology present privacy issues for Australian retailers

ARA submits a two-stage pay arrangement for penalty rates reduction

On Friday last week the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) issued a submission to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) regarding their proposed two-stage transition for the Sunday penalty rate reduction.

Managing grievances and disputes in your retail team

Business are generally focused on fostering good relations amongst team members, but sometimes problems can arise at work that may cause the team member to become distressed or upset.

Putting the Store Associate at the Heart of the Retail Experience

Walk into any retail store today and you begin to wonder if you know more about the products on display than the in-store salesperson. After a brief conversation with them, you might find that to be true. The use of digital devices and information has helped consumers understand product...

The next big thing in mobile retailing

FinTech payments company Openpay has announced their partnership with RainCheck, the Australian platform developed to convert the 88% of shoppers who research online but then make their purchase offline. 

How to manage workplace conflicts

There is no ideal time or location in a retail environment to have interpersonal conflict with others, and when they do occur most people will put off a conflict discussion with a colleague or their Manager. Ultimately, it’s because people think they have more to lose than gain from having such...

Stocard's next step to revolutionise retail

Stocard, the world’s leading mobile loyalty wallet, has recently announced its latest financing from, a Data Science Investment Group. Stocard will use this capital to launch a mobile payments functionality, expand in new markets including Australia and recruit engineers and...

Retail Awards and Agreements

Awards and Agreements prescribe the wages and conditions of work in the industry and have the force of law. It is important for retailers to know the difference between Awards and Agreements, as some retail employees find that they are better off with the Retail Award, while others feel that an...

ARA achieves historic reduction in Sunday Penalty Rates

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission issued its decision in the Penalty Rates case last Thursday 23 February 2017. The ARA sought a reduction in the Sunday Penalty Rate under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 (GRIA) from its current level of an additional 100% to 50%. The Full Bench...

Benefits of Retail Analytics

Suez Technology is dedicated to identifying the drivers behind purchases. Their retail analytic software allows brick-and-mortar retailers to measure big data in real-time. Suez Technology uses a wide range of technologies from videos to heat mapping intelligence to learn where customers are...

Hiring a retail manager: many skills in one package

It only takes one bad experience to put a retail customer off for life.

Merchandising 3.0: Customer-Centric Retailing

Customer-centricity may be the hot buzz word in the retail world, but savvy, forward-thinking retailers have been familiar with the term for a while now. Rich sources of customer data and advances in technology are allowing for deep insights and stronger customer engagement. Astute retailers are...

Workplace Investigations - are they really such a big deal?

Far from the seemingly glamourous investigations conducted by police on TV, workplace investigations are inevitably more tedious, less rewarding and are a drain on valuable resources. However, they are also a crucial step in handling allegations of misconduct by employees, and getting them wrong...

Getting to grips with online retailing

Online retailing is fast becoming the obsession of global retail operators and commentators.  It is filled with start-up retailers launching their businesses online and traditional bricks and mortar retailers making the shift online. To be successful, prospective online retailers need to...

Understanding customers and assessing competitive advantage online

When shopping online, the majority of retail customers have different expectations than they do of a physical bricks and mortar shopping experience. However, their expectations of online are often informed by offline shopping; Fast and free postage, hassle free returns process, straightforward...

3 Simple Ways To Keep High-performing Teams Together

It’s amazing how many employers fail to read the warning signs, and are left shocked when key members of staff resign.

What’s in store for retailers this year?

The New Year is upon us and once again it’s time to prepare for what is shaping up to be another big year for the retail industry. So what are the key employment issues that ARA members should be aware of in 2017?

Pandora Championing Team Achievements

Many retailers in Australia are experiencing challenging times, impacted by the shifting retail landscape and economic impacts from international markets. Retailers and their teams are undoubtedly feeling the pressure, which can lead to a severely demoralised workforce. During these hard times,...

The importance of fostering team development

Team effort is at the heart of achieving business goals and objectives in retail. Fostering team development is a cornerstone of effective leadership and one that requires preparation, flexibility, drive and respect for the qualities that each individual brings to the team, combined with an...

Developing Effective Customer Service Staff

A sale now begins the first time a potential customer experiences your brand. And the way staff approach, interact with, learn about and introduce their product to customers is a strong part of sales and service in the world of retail. Great customer service is increasingly returning to centre...

My people don’t sell! 5 tips that help your team love selling

Selling can be a dirty word in some workplaces. I’ve been in sales for over 15 years, and I still cringe at the thought of picking up the phone to make a cold call sometimes. Then there are many people in our teams that do not see selling as remotely relevant to their roles (nor their lives)....

Online retailers face consumer fulfillment challenges this Christmas

With Australian consumers predicted to spend more than $48.1 billion this Christmas it is crucial that all retailers ensure customer orders are fulfilled efficiently and customer loyalty is sustained.

How to hire and keep quality retail staff

By Gabriela Pasqualon - Velpic

Modern award review update

The Australian Retailers Association, Master Grocers Association (MGA), Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) and Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) are the only industry bodies to have contributed financially to this important case, with the ARA having lead the case in conjunction with...

Shirtmaker courts ACCC trouble

London-based clothing manufacturer and retailer, Charles Tyrwhitt, has paid a $10,800 penalty after being issued with an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), following an investigation into the company’s ‘was/now’ pricing practices.


The Fair Work Commission today issued further Directions in relation to the conduct of the Penalty Rates case. This document outlines the proceedings and process going forward.

ERMS: Performance Management

Managing the performance of your employees is a necessary evil – it’s never fun, but is often essential to protect your business from the damage an underperforming employee can cause.

Dismissal unfair despite serious misconduct

A large retailer of global footwear brands has landed themselves in hot water after deciding to terminate a store manager for serious misconduct following allegations of theft and fraud.

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