Retail Sales Increase 1.4 Percent in March

Power Retail By Power Retail | 21 Apr 2021

Retail turnover has increased 1.4 percent in March, the Australia Bureau of Statistics has reported, with Victoria and WA leading the rises.

Retail sales have increased by 1.4 percent in March. When compared to March 2020, retail turnover rose by 2.3 percent.

Two states lead these increases, said Ben James, the Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys. “Victoria and Western Australia led the rises, after COVID-19 lockdowns impacted retail sales in February 2021,” he explained. “Queensland saw a small fall, with Greater Brisbane impacted by lockdown restrictions from 29 March.”

According to Paul Zahra, the CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, retail performance is underpinning Australia’s economic recovery. However, the ‘full extent’ of ending Government support like JobKeeper and JobSeeker remains unclear.

“The retail industry has been resilient throughout COVID, navigating its way through state-imposed lockdowns and restrictions – and despite all the challenges that have been thrown at them, many of these businesses are helping drive Australia’s economic recovery,” Zahra explained.

“As expected, whilst we haven’t experienced a fiscal cliff, we have seen a softening of sales as we cycle the panic buying from the beginning of the pandemic. The vaccination rollout is now imperative to boosting consumer confidence and safety.”

“The sector as a whole is tracking well, but there are two cohorts of retail we remain deeply concerned about. Travel retailers continue to have their businesses decimated by international border closures, and while the travel bubble with New Zealand is a small relief – we know that global travel patterns aren’t expected to return to normal until 2024,” Zahra said.

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