Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Nov-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s Draft Determination of the Casual Mall Licensing Code of Practice, supporting its concerns of the effective operation of the Code and their suggestion to invite respective organisations to become parties of the Code Administration Committee (CAC).
The ARA have long been working on this issue with the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA), Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) as the CAC has not been functioning as intended, with ineffective administration and maintenance of the Code leading to a number of issues.
ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said the ARA have had both retailers and members highlight endless adjacency and line of sight issues with casual mall tenants that will need to be addressed in the re-authorisation of the Code.
“While retailers understand the use of pop-up shops for temporary promotions, those in direct competition with existing tenants should not be operating directly outside permanent retailers,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“The Code must be reviewed and amended, as any interference with sightlines to a permanent lessee should be at least avoided, if not prohibited, as it impacts unfairly on access, customer flow, and competition.”
The ARA strongly believe a diverse representation of parties on the Code is crucial to its success, however they do insist it is important for parties which are primarily affected by the Code to have ownership of it.
“While the ARA appreciate the recommended appointments to the CAC, we question the amount of knowledge some organisations might possess on retail leasing issues, particularly those that represent retail businesses who do not generally occupy physical stores,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“The ARA does not have any objection to the National Online Retailers Association (NORA) being put forward as a landlord nominee, nor the National Retailers Association (NRA) as a landlord nominee, given its close relationship in representing the interests of the SCCA over retail.”
The ARA, ASGA, FCA and PGA are committed to ensuring the success of the Code moving forward, and will not support re-authorisation of the Code until its current issues are addressed. Until then, the ARA will continue to seek regulatory intervention by the ACCC.
To view the ARA’s full submission to the ACCC please click here.
About the Australian Retailers Association:
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.
For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.