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"Forget protectionism: it's time to put shoppers first"

​New appointee to Federal Government’s Retail Council seeks a ‘fairer go’ for both new retail and Australian consumers

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, June 12, 2013 – Protectionism is a short-sighted strategy that will fail both retailers and consumers, according to the latest appointee to the Federal Government's Retail Council, DealsDirect co-founder and National Online Retailers Association (NORA) CEO Paul Greenberg.

Mr Greenberg has been appointed to the Federal Retail Council in recognition of the growth and contribution that the new digital retail (online, mobile, social commerce) brings to the economy. He will provide a much needed voice and advocacy for the changing landscape of retail in Australia.

As CEO of NORA, a new industry association and advocacy body committed to the well-being and prosperity of a technology led Australian retail, Mr Greenberg will lend a balanced and independent view on the big issues shaping the future of the Australian retail sector to better support all Australian retailers – both traditional and technology-driven - to build resilience against increased international competition and deliver to the needs of the Australian consumer.

"To survive and thrive, we need to serve Australian shoppers with a vibrant and diverse Australian retail landscape, not put obstacles in their way. NORA aims to be that catalyst for collaboration to ensure we develop the industry in a way that benefits both consumers and retailers," Mr Greenberg says.

“We believe that Australia’s retail sector is readying itself for a technology and customer-centric led renaissance, and supporting this transition to ensure the future wellbeing of all retailers and auxiliary players who support the industry is crucial.  I am very bullish about Australian retail in the future, as long as we respond dynamically and proactively to customers' needs. The risk of inactivity is infinitely greater than the risk of activity."

Mr Greenberg is committed to ensuring that the best interests of the Australian shopper are represented at the highest level to ensure that any policy or structural changes are not punitive to the consumer.

“NORA’s view is that any actions that can be viewed as not being in the best interest of the Australian shopper are shortsighted and will reflect poorly on Australian retail. As such, we will seek to put forward a strong argument against any change which may be viewed as being punitive to the consumer," he says.

With seventy five percent of Australian online orders being placed with domestic retailers, Mr Greenberg argues that the bigger question is less about how we protect local retailers from the offshore or international threat, but rather how we strengthen Australia's retailing sector to not only meet, but indeed exceed, the current offshore shopping experience.

“I believe we have a great base to build upon. Consumers still prefer to shop locally at stores they know and trust, however broader consultation with stakeholders including consumer groups, brand owners, marketplaces, technology and freight companies as well as new and established retailers is needed. A fresh voice of the debate will be a contributor to broadly congruent outcomes,” says Mr. Greenberg.

To become a member of NORA please visit nora.org.au. Membership is open to all stakeholders in the diverse retail landscape, including established retailers looking to make the transition, as well as all the service providers who are contributing and will benefit from the retail shifts. Also welcome are, educational and government institutions, academics and students, research and consumer groups and individuals. Membership starts at $95 per annum. 


About the National Online Retailers Association (NORA)The National Online Retailers Association, or NORA, is committed to providing a voice for the new retail in Australia. This is an evolving retail future that is deeply customer centric, has a digital and technology footprint, is increasingly global and embraces the consumer direct channel. NORA’s vision is to be a contributor to the future wellbeing of Australian retail, and all the stakeholders and participants in this vast and diverse retail landscape.

Co-founder of the Deals Direct group, Paul Greenberg is the inaugural CEO of NORA, supported by a dynamic board comprising leading players from the new digital retail economy including:

•             John Winning, CEO of Winning Group,  

•             Michael Fox, director of operations and Co-founder of Shoes of Prey 

•             Mark Coulter, co-founder and principal of ArdenPoint Group

•             Carl Jackson, CEO of ozsale.com.au 

•             Jane Cay, founder of Birdsnest.com.au

•             Sally-Anne Newson, Country Manager for global fashion giant ASOS.com in Australia,

For more information about NORA, please visit www.nora.org.au

Media Contacts:

Melissa Shawyer,The PR Group                                  Paul Greenberg, NORA

Tel +61 412 066 408                                                    Tel: +61 419 979 474
melissa@prgroup.com.au                                           paul.greenberg@nora.org.au