Retailers can’t rely on price war

Australian retailers can’t afford to simply rely on price wars to remain competitive in today’s economic climate, according to Richard Evans, Executive Director, Australian Retailers Association.

A speaker at the upcoming National Retail Forum, Evans believes that stretched budgets are pushing retailers to be creative in their business strategies.

“The current economic climate — including the impact of interest rate rises — is the prime concern for retailers,” he says.

“Times are tough and people are not spending. To make matters worse, retailers can’t apply their normal mark-up to maintain margins because consumers simply won’t pay.”

“The challenge for retailers is to remain competitive without relying on a price war,” he says.

“Retailers are thinking outside of the box to remain competitive with consumers and staff.”

“From showing leadership with environmental issues including plastic bag usage to offering paid maternity leave and professional development training for loyal employees — innovation is helping retailers stand out from the crowd.”

Evans will join confirmed NRF speakers — including keynote Sally MacDonald, CEO, The Oroton Group; Sean Ashby, CEO, AussieBum; Pierce Cody, Managing Director, Macro Wholefoods; and Graeme Pearman, Director, Graeme Pearman Consulting — in discussing the biggest challenges facing the industry.

Sustainability, environmental retailing, e-retailing, marketing, emotional branding, and franchising are all on the Forum’s agenda.

Industry-leading speakers will share personal case studies, ideas, innovations and insights with delegates, aiming to provide them with the knowledge needed to prosper in the dynamic market.

National Retail Forum is held in conjunction with Australia’s premier retail exhibition — Retail Expo Australasia. Cisco Australia, Octanorm Australia, Toshiba TEC Australia, and Professional Advantage — a licensee of Microsoft, are amongst the 220 local and international exhibitors confirmed to showcase the latest retail solutions.

Visit for more information, including pre-registration, speaker program and full exhibitor list.

The National Retail Forum takes place 12-13 August 2008, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre

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