As retail continues to bounce back, almost every category has recorded an increase in sales. However, the fashion, footwear and accessories category has declined by one percent.
The retail rebound is underway, with January turnover increasing 1.8 percent. This comes off the back of a major 4.4 percent fall in December 2021, signalling a stronger start to the year.
However, we are yet to see as strong a comeback as November and October 2021, which rose 7.3 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
According to Ben James, the Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, the 1.8 percent lift adds strength to the post-Delta lockdown recovery in the retail sector – sales are now at the second-highest level in this series, he explained.
Moreover, he explained that the Omicron variant has continues to disrupt and change consumer behaviour, even more than previously recorded. “We have seen the type of spending previously associated with lockdowns occurring simultaneously with those associated with the easing of lockdown conditions,” he said.
“This had led to variations across the industries with Food retailing recording a rise in sales consistent with previous COVID-19 outbreaks as consumers exercise caution amidst surging case numbers.”
However, he further explained that the absence of lockdowns menat that other discretionary industries, which would have normally recorded a fall during the pandemic, have recorded ‘mixed results’.
The biggest increases throughout the retail sector included department stores (4.9 percent), other retailing (4.5 percent), and household good retailing (0.6 percent).
In contrast, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing declined by one percent, and was the only category to experience a fall.
Across Australia, WA and Victoria led the retail sales, up 4.7 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. Similarly, NSW saw an increase of one percent, SA recoding a lift of 3.1 percent and Queensland with 0.4 percent.
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