Retail trade still languishing

Spring figures not exactly blooming.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures for September demonstrated more still needs to be done to lift the sector out of its sales slumber. Turnover for the first month of spring rose by a modest 0.2%, seasonally adjusted and followed a 0.4% rise in August.  Online retail turnover contributed 6.3% to total retail compared to 5.6% in September 2018.

National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb said that while the figures are not disastrous, it was expected that sales would have been higher for the month. “Measures such as tax cuts and reductions to interest rates have already been implemented, but clearly we’re still to see retail sales rebound like we would have hoped,” she said.

“Moving forward we have several big sales events such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday coming up this month, and we are about to enter the busy Christmas trade period. A poor Christmas period for retail will have a knock-on effect to other parts of the economy, so we encourage shoppers to indulge in some retail therapy between now and the end of the year.”

The ABS figures showed a 0.2% fall in department stores while household good retailing was unchanged.

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