Victoria’s retail sector continues to go from strength to strength with retail trade growing by 4.5 per cent last year – the highest of all states – turning over $79.2 billion and accounting for a quarter of the national retail turnover.

Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll today joined more than 100 retail leaders to officially open this year’s Retail Fulfilment Summit in Melbourne – part of 2018 Retail Week.

This year’s event covers topics from retail fulfilment to supply chain management and customer experience under the theme of “Supporting the Australian retail industry for future growth”.

Retail Week aims to inspire and educate attendees over five days of conferences, round tables and networking events covering leadership, development and collaboration.

The retail industry remains one of Victoria’s biggest employers, with more than 361,000 people employed across Melbourne and regional Victoria, accounting for over 11 per cent of the state’s total employment.

eCommerce has grown rapidly in the past few years as well, with the growth in online shopping expenditure outperforming bricks and mortar retail by 6.9 per cent in 2016, according to Australia Post.

That growth is backed by international e-commerce giants setting up shop in Australia, with Amazon opening a retail fulfillment centre in Dandenong and Chinese e-tail giants Alibaba and opening offices in Melbourne.