News & Media Releases

Sharing the Great Yarra Re-tales story

07 May 2014

Yarra City Council has partnered with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) to deliver a program designed to support, inspire and educate Yarra retail businesses.

Fifteen local retailers took part in the Great Yarra Re-tales program in the latter part of last year. Over six months, business owners attended workshops run by the ARA covering topics including visual merchandising, financial reporting and budgeting, evaluating the customer experience and marketing.

The first in a series of short documentaries following the journey of four of the participating business owners is set to be released by the ARA next week. The series provides an opportunity for other retailers to share and learn from the experience as well as highlighting a need for further education investment in the retail sector. 

Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky said “Yarra’s shopping strips form a significant part of the character and identity of our city.

“Our shopping strips are energetic hubs of creativity and culture; and they are essential to the economic prosperity of our city.

“Council is delighted to have partnered with the ARA to deliver the Great Yarra re-Tales program to support local retailers.

“This program has provided practical tools and support to help local retailers to succeed and prosper.”

ARA director of programs, Sue Anderson, headed the initiative and said the program was designed to fulfil a much needed role in small business development.

“It’s a collaborative community approach to learning great skills about business. They’re designed to get people talking, to get people thinking, to get people doing; in order to make a fundamental difference to the way their business performs,” Sue said.  

Retail businesses employ 8,000 people in Yarra, or about 12.1% of the municipality’s 66,780-strong workforce.  The Great Yarra Re-tales series captures the personal growth stories of participants and the realities of running a retail business in today’s competitive market. 

The program was the first of its kind in Australia and has spawned the development of two similar programs, The Retails Excellent Workshops and The Retail Transformation Program, to be run by the ARA in both metropolitan and regional Victoria in the coming months.    

A two minute trailer for the series can be found on the Australian Retailers Association website.

For more information about the Great Yarra Re-tales program, contact Sophie Carson, Australian Retailers Association Program Manager, on 8660 3348 or at

Further information
Jessica Matrakis
Communications Officer
9205 5144



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