Retail Bodies ARA and NRA to Amalgamate

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By Published On: May 8, 20240 Comments

Peak retail bodies, the Australian Retailers Association & National Retail Association have announced amalgamation plans.

Not-for-profit retail bodies, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the National Retail Association (NRA) have announced a proposed amalgamation, which will – once approved by their respective members, create a single unified body representing the $420 billion sector.

The two entities will formalise their amalgamation application to the Fair Work Commission with a new framework for the proposed new entity to be announced.

Combined, the ARA and NRA will represent the full diversity of the sector.

“The ARA has been on a mission to unify the industry in recent years and today’s announcement is the result of significant discussions over time between our two organisations,” said ARA President Nicole Sheffield.

“It makes absolute sense to create one voice for retail, and to combine our strengths to support the growth of this vital sector which employs one in ten Australians.

 “Whilst the resilience of retailers has been second to none in recent years, the headwinds we face as a sector have never been more challenging – from supply chain challenges and retail crime to sustainability outcomes and the rise of artificial intelligence. Joining forces for the good of our industry is an obvious win for all parties,” she said.

The ARA has over 120 years of advocacy under its belt, from its industrial revolution beginnings in 1903 as The Master Retailers Association of NSW, to Australia’s peak retail body, representing more than 120,000 retail shop fronts and online stores in a range of industries.

The NRA is Australia’s ‘modern voice of retail,’ existing to support, inform, protect and represent the interests of retailers and quick service restaurants. 

NRA Chair Tim Schaafsma said the combined strengths of the two organisations will elevate the impact of the sector to the benefit of all Australians. 

“Retail contributes enormously to our country’s economic success and social wellbeing and a strong retail sector is in the interests of all Australians.  Our two organisations are aligned in our focus, and we come together in the spirit of doing what’s in the best interests of our retail community.

“There’s great strength in numbers and we are confident our members and the sector as a whole will appreciate and embrace this progression towards a unified voice for retail.  The merged entity will truly represent the whole Australian retail sector, irrespective of size, segment or geographic location.

“In the meantime, we look forward to working together on a range of collaborative ventures in the coming months as we take active steps towards the proposed amalgamation,” he said.

The entities say that as the pair formalise their amalgamation application to the FWC, it will be business as usual with the two organisations collaborating on joint advocacy work within the priority areas of retail crime, retail trading hours and the industry application to vary the General Retail Industry Awards.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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