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Peace Among Retailers JB Hi Fi CEO Speaks Out

Peace has broken out among Australia’s top retailers with the announcement that ‘many of them’ will joining the Australian Retailers Association who have also announced the retirement of long serving Executive Director Russell Zimmerman.

Earlier today the President of the Australian Retailers Association, Rowan Hodge, announced the decision claiming that many of Australia’s major retailers were set to join the ARA who have spent months in negotiations to resolve a dispute with the Queensland based National Retailers Association.

Back in August retailers such as JB Hi Fi were assessing their options after the collapse of the proposed merger between the Australian Retailers Association and the Queensland-based National Retailers Association.

Big consumer electronics retailer along with Target, Bunnings, Wesfarmers’ Kmart, and the Super Retail Group, which were all members of the Retail Council before it folded in 2017 are now heading to have more say via the ARA.

The result will be a single national voice for Australian Retailers claims Hodge.

Together with JB Hi-Fi Group CEO Richard Murray, Hodge said, “The integration of the major retailers into the ARA is an exciting moment for Australia’s retail sector.”

Hodge said, “Representation of the retail industry in Australia has been fragmented. The combination of the major retailers and the ARA is a critical first step in creating One Voice for small, medium and larger retailers.”

The Australian Retailers Association which was founded in 1903 is Australia’s largest retail association with 9,500 independent and national retail members, 95% of members are small
and medium size businesses.

Hodge continued, “We believe working together will grow and enhance the advocacy, events and education services we provide our members, and will particularly improve outcomes for small retailers.”

“I’d like to extend an invitation to all retailers who aren’t already members of the ARA to join us on this journey as we come
together to create One Voice for Australian Retailers.”
“The ARA will also be transitioning to new leadership as long serving Executive Director Russell Zimmerman announces his retirement” he said.

Murray said, “Small business is the cornerstone of the Australian economy and many great Australian retailers started out with one store and grew from there. All retailers, no matter the size, want to ensure government policy encourages employment, sustainability, safety in the workplace and retail careers”.
He added “We want to create a platform to celebrate and promote all Australian Retailers and a single point of engagement for government, industry and community groups”.

“The major retailers believe consolidating advocacy, representation and industry leadership activities is crucial, and that the ARA is best placed to provide One Voice for the retail sector”.

“As an industry, we are the largest private employer in Australia. Retail accounts for one-fifth of the Australian economy. This is an exciting time. Our primary objective is the continued growth and success of all retailers, large and small.”

“Russell has been a champion of our industry over the ten years he has led the ARA. Our industry is the better for his leadership and insights. I thank Russell for his years of dedicated service and wish him well,” said Murray.

Zimmerman said, “I have enjoyed leading this great organisation in an industry that touches millions of Australian lives and which is a pillar of the Australian economy. I am looking forward to a new chapter and fresh challenges in my professional career.”

Russell will continue to lead the ARA during the transition, to ensure a seamless onboarding of a new CEO.

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