The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have entered a strategic partnership to gather deeper insights in consumer behaviour and how it affects Australia’s $340 billion retail industry.

QUT researchers and industry leaders will advance new research initiatives, empowering retailers to evolve and better meet the needs of consumers.


In February 2021, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) formed a strategic partnership. The ARA is the national advocacy association for the retail industry to local, state, and federal governments, media, and other key stakeholders. As the oldest and largest Australian retail industry group, they represent the $340bn retail sector, that employs approximately 1.2 million people.

The ARA recognises the collaborative and strategic relationships within member organisations to foster opportunities gained by matters that are considered important for academic research.

The partnership is facilitated through the newly established Consumer Research Advisory Committee. The committee comprises senior leaders from eight major Australian retail businesses. Professor Gary Mortimer from the QUT Business and Law Faculty has been appointed as Chair of this committee, until 2023.


The purpose of this committee is to funnel vital information to inform the retail sector’s business owners and operators. As the ARA brand continues to evolve and grow, it acknowledges the delivery of collaborative, high-quality research through strategic partnerships. This research will be used to inform, protect, advocate, educate and provide value to our members.


To provide ARA Members with information on matters that are considered important for academic research. The ARA Research Advisory Committee ensures academic and member input is gained in the decision-making process for all matters that are considered important for research.

Partnership aims

1. Generation of new research insights to inform the retail sector

QUT Business and Law researchers have the opportunity to pitch ideas to the committee, or apply to a research priority developed by the committee.

2. The ARA Consumer Research and Insights Hub (ACRIH)

The committee will develop a consumer research and insights hub (ACRIH). The digital platform will offer:

  • Translated published research papers, with links to eprints and direct contact with the researcher. Researchers will be encouraged to put forward published manuscripts and eprints links, for translation.
  • Thought Leadership pieces relating to consumer and retail research – putting the researcher in front of industry. Researchers will be encouraged to develop and write short op-ed articles for publication on the ARA website.

3. Australian Research Council (ARC) Industry Linkage Grants

Opportunities to engage directly with major retailers and ARA as an industry partner.

4. Access to QUT Research Centres

Connecting industry directly with QUT research centres.

5. Work Integrated Programs

  • Embedding HDR students with industry partners; and
  • Enabling HDR students to collect data with industry partners.