Retail turnover rises slightly

A small rise for online.

Retail turnover rose 0.4% in June 2018, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics retail trade figures, following an identical rise last month. It is the third consecutive month of retail growth.

Online retail turnover contributed 5.7% of total retail turnover in original terms for the month of June, a rise from 5.6% in May 2018 and a rise from 4.1 % to total retail turnover for the same period in 2017.

Food retailing led the rise, followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessories that rose 1.7%, which was down from a 2.3% rise in May, Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys director, Ben James said.

There were also slight rises for cafes, restaurants and takeaways, followed by household goods with other retailing relatively unchanged, apart from department stores which had a 1.2% fall in June.

In seasonally adjusted terms, there were rises in Victoria (1.%), New South Wales (0.4%), Western Australia (0.2%), the Australian Capital Territory (1.2%) and Tasmania (0.9%).There were falls in Queensland (0.3%) and the Northern Territory (0.4%) while South Australia was unchanged.

National Retail Association CEO, Dominique Lamb said that while there was still a long way to go for the domestic industry, June’s seasonally adjusted modest rise suggested consumer confidence may be returning.

“Better technology and data analytics have allowed shopping centres and individual retailers to begin to understand people’s changing shopping preferences and habits, and we are seeing that reflected in the consistently good results in food retailing,” she said.

“The entire retail landscape in Australia has changed dramatically, and retailers have been pivoting their business models accordingly, including investing more time and resources into creating coordinated, omni-channel approaches and improving their fulfilment and delivery processes.

“One of the reasons we’ve fought so hard on other issues like trading hours is to make sure that the legislation reflects these powerful consumer trends, and that retailers can open their bricks and mortar stores when consumers want to shop. It’s all about giving retailers the proper regulatory framework that supports a dynamic industry, where retailers are able to remain relevant to modern consumers,” Lamb said.

The Australian Retailers Association believe the June trade figures represent a fair trade for the end of financial year, with a 2.87% total growth year-on-year.

ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said this positive growth was mostly due to the strong trade in clothing, footwear, personal accessories and food retailing.

However, weakness in the household goods category (0.60%) dragged down the overall result for the industry, he said. “We have seen the housing market come off the boil of late in several states, which explains the flat results for hardware and building and more significantly, furniture, which was down by 2.55%.People don’t renovate when the housing market is down.”

Zimmerman said while business confidence often falls after a Federal Budget, the increase shows greater strength in the market, giving retailers much-needed assurance to invest in their businesses and execute product strategies.

“We believe this would grow further with the Federal Government’s company tax cuts coming into play again in the Senate in a few weeks’ time.”

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