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Message from the CEO, Dominique Lamb: 20 February 2018

February 20, 2018

It is with great pleasure I announce that the NRA Legal team has grown by one, with Lindsay Carroll joining us as Legal Practice Manager.

Lindsay brings to NRA Legal significant legal and practical expertise on managing workplace relations strategy and risk.

Lindsay started her working life in retail at one of Australia’s biggest discount variety stores and later spent a number of years working on the fabrics counter at Spotlight Indooroopilly.

Prior to joining NRA, Lindsay was the Workplace Relations Counsel at Australia’s national resources and energy industry group, AMMA. At AMMA, Lindsay was a trusted advisor to the mining, oil and gas, and construction sectors with a particular interest in providing practical solutions to compliance matters and workplace disputes.

Lindsay is also an accomplished work health and safety lawyer having spent many years at global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, working predominantly in the Employment and Work Health and Safety teams. Lindsay has experience in work health and safety management system review, incident response and management, food safety prosecution matters for hospitality and fast food clients and in defending enforcement action arising from safety incidents.

Not only does the NRA welcome Lindsay to the team, but we are confident that she will do an excellent job in providing the necessary support to all our valued NRA members on any legal queries they may have. Lindsay looks forward to meeting our members in the future.

One of the big challenges confronting retail, along with business across all industries, is managing the transition from the analogue world to the digital world. As we have been saying for some time, the NRA does not believe the emergence of online retailers such as Amazon spell the end of traditional bricks and mortar retail. However, a digital presence should be something that complements your retail outlet, adding another facet to your business that helps to maximize sales.  

Advancements in technology can greatly assist the way in which a small business operates – from the way you service customers, to the manner you advertise your products and right through to administrative functions such as timesheets and the payment of staff. To keep up with the evolving expectations of consumers it is vital that retailers recognises not just the benefits, but also the necessity, of technological change.

Research recently released by Telstra’s Small Business Intelligence report found that the number 1 attribute required for a small business to thrive in today’s world was to embrace digital technology. A staggering 62 per cent of consumers who were surveyed claimed that they would not even consider a business unless they could find it online.

On the one hand this may be cause for concern for any business currently without a digital presence, however, it also highlights a tremendous opportunity as the report also highlights that roughly only half of all small businesses have a website. Hence, if you’re a small business that is yet to transition to the digital world, it is not too late and there is clearly real potential to expand your clientele by making this transition.

The report concluded that key reasons preventing small and medium enterprises from embracing digital technology centred around perceptions of cost, time and effort. While it is true that there may be some transition costs involved, the online world has the potential to greatly reduce both the time and cost of many of the tasks associated with running a small business. If you’re currently operating without a digital presence, it is clearly worth the time to assess how things as simple as a website, social media or apps can better deliver for your customers and take your business to the next level. 

In other news, a report released today by the Commonwealth Bank shows retail spending to have recorded its highest boost in sales for 8 years. The CBA’s January Business Sales Indicator (BSI) – which tracks the value of credit and debit card transactions processed through Commonwealth Bank terminals over a specific month – showed a lift of 1.7 per cent in retail stores.

Although the report does not take into account cash transactions, the fact that the CBA is the biggest retail bank in Australia means that the report is generally a reliable indicator of overall retail sales. This news bodes well for when the ABS releases its January retail figures in a few weeks time, following a modest performance for the sector in the December 2017 ABS data.

Have a great week.

Dominique Lamb, CEO. 

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