ARA: 15 consecutive months of growth for retail trade

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By Published On: January 16, 20230 Comments

The Australian Retailers Association has reported that November 2022 heralded in 15 consecutive months of growth in retail trade.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has reported that the lates figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that November 2022 marked 15 consecutive months of growth in retail trade. November itself had a record $35.9 billion spend across Australia both online and in store. This is an increase of 7.7 percent on November 2021.

“November’s results remain strong when compared to the same period in 2021. The result is particularly strong considering the cost-of-living squeeze being felt by households across the board,” said ARA CEO Paul Zahra.

“This data also marks 15 consecutive months of growth in retail trade, which is a phenomenal result considering the disruption and adversity the industry has weathered.”

However, Zahra flagged an expected slowdown in spending in 2023, which will prove a challenge for retailers. He also acknowledged that inflation played a role in the November 2022 retail trade results and may continue to do so. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November 2022 was also reported by ABS at 7.4 percent. “Inflation remains a concern for us. So does the rising cost of doing business along with supply chain disruptions and staff shortages, which remain top of mind for retailers. These results reinforce the retail industry’s permanent state of disruption and the need for retailers to remain resilient in the face of economic headwinds and external pressures beyond their control.”

The thorough ABS report follows the ARA reporting an ‘unprecedented’ record breaking $74.5 billion festive spend so it is likely this 15 month growth saw its sixteenth additional month in December 2022.  The record breaking near $75 billion spend was up 8.6 percent on 2021.“This is without a doubt, the biggest festive season spend on record – it is unprecedented,”  Zahra said, noting it is an unparalleled result after several years of disruption. “It is remarkable that in this period of economic turbulence, traders have well and truly smashed it out of the ball park as consumers revelled in ‘freedom’ spending.

According to the ABS reporting,  there were strong year-on-year sales increases across the country for cafés, restaurants and take away food, up 24.8 percent.  Department stores were up 7.6 pecent, and clothing, footwear and personal accessories were also recording strong growth at 7.1 percent on 2021. Queensland led year-on-year growth with a huge uptake of 10.4 percent followed by equally impressive growth in South Australia (up 9.5 percent) and Western Australia (up 9.1 percent).

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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