Australian retailers call for longer trading hours

Australian retailers have called for longer trading hours and industry deregulation, following a Productivity Commission inquiry into the industry.

The Australian National Retail Association (ANRA) has urged all state governments to commit to employment growth and consumer choice by immediately acting on the Productivity Commission’s findings, outlined in its report the Relative Cost of Doing Business in Australia: Retail Trade.

ANRA CEO Anna McPhee said: “The complexity of current restrictions placed on trading hours, such as the difference in hours for the sale of light bulbs vs. light fittings, is impacting employment growth and customer choice.”

“There’s no doubt a more flexible approach to trading hours would benefit consumers, employees and the broader economy.”

Australian retailers are facing pressure from online retailers, who are able to offer goods at lower prices, and at all hours of the day. Beyond this, many domestic retailers have expressed concern over fast fashion giants such as H&M and Zara, as they struggle to compete with their brand power and competitive pricing schemes.

Consumer confidence rose 0.7% in the week ending September 28, stabilising to average levels across the month of September after a turbulent few months following the federal budget announcement.