The closer we get to Christmas, the more surveys and statistics cross my desk predicting the amount Australians will spend on their silly season shopping. The most recent figures come to us from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), which is predicting consumers will spend over $48.1 billion in stores. You can read more about that here.

Other positive news comes from research by the Commonwealth Bank, which found almost one in four small businesses is expecting double-digit growth over the next six months.

The Commonwealth Bank Small Business Study also discovered that more than half of Australian small business owners believe they are well positioned for growth and are more likely to place greater emphasis on growth initiatives, while large businesses are focusing their efforts on cost management initiatives.

Here are a few other things I’ve been interested in this week:

I’m reading…Oxfam Australia’s naughty or nice list, which chronicles the best and worst performing retailers when it comes to ethical manufacturing. Some of the most popular brands in Australia have landed on the ‘naughty’ list for a lack of transparency, while Wesfarmers and Specialty Fashion Group have received a tick of approval.

I’m talking to…Wayne Wang, who founded disruptive courier company Go People in 2014. The company now makes over 10,000 deliveries a month with plans to expand both across the country and internationally. Is the on-demand delivery service the way of the future? You can read more about the service here.

I also recently did an interview with the managing director of FedEx Australia, Kim Garner, so stay tuned next week for more delivery service chat.

I’m thinking about…what the emergence of a new union means for Australian retail workers. Will the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union be a real challenge to the Shoppies, or will the SDA’s century-long history of representing workers hold off any competition? I suppose we will have to wait and see.

Have you noticed anything interesting in the world of retail this week? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.