Youngest Retail Peak Industry Body Turns One – NORA’s Birthday Celebrations

It has been a year since ex-DealsDirect Chairman, Paul Greenberg decided to found NORA – a peak industry body to support new retail in all its forms. Last night, Greenberg and the team held a celebration to mark the occasion.

Last night, key industry figures met with the NORA team to celebrate a full year since the organisation’s launch.

The event was attended by senior executives from the host, Telstra (the celebration was held at Telstra’s Pitt Street offices overlooking the Sydney Harbour), as well as Australia Post, hybris, eBay and PayPal together with CEOs and founders from the who’s who of innovative retailers including Super Retail Group, Shoes of Prey, Groupon, The Co-op, Institchu, The Iconic, Clearly Contacts, DealsDirect, Styletread and Triumph International.

NORA anniversary attendees

A broad range of industry figures appeared at NORA’s first anniversary celebration.

The evening marked a year of action and hard work for Executive Chairman Paul Greenberg, who seems to have taken the switch from retail to politics in his stride.

Accompanied by a coterie of prominent retail leaders, the obligatory cake and several waves of canapés, Greenberg took the time to address the crowd with a reflective address. Reinforcing the fact that it’s still “early days” for the industry and NORA alike, Greenberg also remarked on the interesting effects technology was having on traditional business models:

This evening, in my mind, is less about raising a glass to NORA’s first birthday, but more about celebrating the start of a new retail movement. Early days I know, but I can feel a raised level of excitement about Australia’s retail future, and a new collegiality building within this exciting and vibrant industry.

Whilst I am deeply aware that retail at its core is a very competitive industry, always has been, always will be, that fact does not preclude a recognition that we are colleagues. I believe we share a fraternity – at NORA we call it ‘new retail’ – no doubt soon it will be known as, well, just ‘retail’. This fraternity is not for the faint hearted. It requires energy, intellect and foresight.  With it though comes enormous opportunity, no questions about it, and many of you in this room are feeling the benefits of a rising tide.

However, I don’t think rising tides in new retail raise all boats, in fact, in these fast changing technology led retail times, where the consumer has the wheel, there is a real chance that some will not be able to cross the divide from old to new retail. Some might argue that this is natural selection – indeed we have already seen many retail businesses close doors – but if we truly believe, as I do, that Australian retail is an ecosystem, which like all ecosystems has symbiotic benefits at its core, there is no benefit in seeing a shrinking one. At NORA, we are doing whatever we can to be a catalyst for education, transformation, and most importantly collaboration. We believe fervently that if the size of the pie grows, so should our respective slices. 

Greenberg went on to thank NORA’s foundation partners, foundation board members and its newest additions to the board as well, alongside the key employees of NORA for which it could not operate without.

Happy birthday, NORA!

Key players from around the retail industry

Rachael McVean (Groupon), Alistair Venn (Groupon), Peter Birtles (Super Retail Group), Paul Greenberg (NORA), Sassoon Grigorian (eBay) were just a few of the industry attendees of last night’s event.

 

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