The Government needs to invest in the retail industry to ensure its ongoing competitiveness and future growth.

The Government needs to invest in the retail industry to ensure its ongoing competitiveness and future growth.
 
People need to feel more confident to spend, which means implementing measures that stimulate confidence in the upcoming Federal Budget, stated Simon Trivett, National Head of Retail, Grant Thornton Australia.
 
“In the lead up to the Federal Budget announcement next week the industry has two specific wishes.
 
“The Government needs to make it quicker and easier for these businesses to bring in talent from overseas by creating more efficient processing of subclass 457 visa applications. This needs to reduce from months to weeks.
 
“The current visa processing requirements are cumbersome. If mid-sized retailers are to achieve their growth ambitions, they need more streamlined access to the global talent pool in supply chain management and digital strategy
 
“There aren’t enough people in Australia with sufficient digital and ecommerce expertise for our mid-size retailers to stay competitive with global retailers.
 
“We’re also calling for a greater level of awareness of the Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Program and an increase in the level of funding available to mid-size retailers.
 
“This ensures Australian retailers can invest in back of house and inventory management systems. These systems are costly to upgrade but are vital to ensure retailers’ ongoing competitiveness, in an increasingly global marketplace. 
 
“The retail industry is the largest private sector employer in Australia, accounting for 1.25 million jobs*, with hundreds of thousands more in associated industries. Further, the industry accounts for 17.3% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product**. This strong economic contribution heightens the need to support the competitiveness and growth conditions of the industry,” said Mr Trivett.
 
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*Total employment estimates in ABS (2014), 6291.0.55.003 Table 5 – Employed persons by State and Industry. 
** Industry value added estimates in ABS (2014) 5206.0 Table 6 – Gross Value Added by Industry, Chain Volume Measures. Retail Turnover estimates in ABS (2015), 8501.0 Table 1 – Retail Turnover, by Industry Group and nominal GDP estimates in ABS (2014), 5206.0 Table 3 – Expenditure on Gross Domestic Product, current prices. 

Karen Kalkaus - National Brand & External Communications Co-ordinatorr +61 7 3222 0343   E karen.kalkaus@au.gt.com