Retail turnover has risen by 1.4 percent in October, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported. This follows a fall of 1.1 percent in September.
“The reopening of physical stores in Victoria led to national rises for cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (5.4 percent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (6.8 percent), other retailing (2.0 percent), and department stores (4.5 percent),” said Ben James, the Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys.
Online sales made up 10.4 percent of overall retail turnover in October 2020, compared to 10.4 percent in September. In October 2019, online retail accounted for 6.6 percent of retail turnover.
“Retail is on a road to recovery and the timing could not be better as the sector heads into Christmas,” said Lindsay Carroll, the Deputy CEO of the National Retail Association.
“The October sales spike is very encouraging and bodes well for a merry Christmas for retailers across the country. The further loosening of lockdown measures since October, particularly in relation to state border closures, should only see the retail resurgence continue,” she said.
Australia is officially out of a recession, which proves a ‘pivotal’ moment for the retail industry.
“Black Friday was a runaway success and we expect that to be reflected in the November ABS results,” she explained.
“Retail is the second largest employer of any sector of the Australian economy. It provides jobs to people of all ages, demographics and backgrounds.
With Australia now officially out of recession, attention will now turn to how fast the recovery is and how retail performs in the coming months will play a big part in that,” Caroll explained.
The National Retail Association forecasts $52,4 billion to be spent across the Christmas period nation-wide.
“With the Christmas trade season well under way, we urge shoppers to not be shy and splurge at the checkout to help turbocharge Australia’s economic resurgence,” Carroll said.
At the national level, retail turnover increased by 7.1 percent compared to October 2019.
Victoria led the state increases (5.1 percent), with an increase for Western Australia (1.0 percent) and New South Wales (0.7 percent). South Australia also rose by 0.6 percent. In contrast, Queensland fell by -0.5 percent, Tasmania by -1.4 percent and the Northern Territory also dropped by -0.6 percent. The Australian Captial Territory remained relatively unchanged, with a decrease of -0.1 percent.
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