ABS retail trade figures encouraging – Aust. Retailers Association

PEAK retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the seasonally adjusted rise (0.7 percent increase) in monthly retail trade figures (month-on-month) reported today by the ABS followed a 0.5 percent rise in October 2013.

Year on year retail growth also increased to 4.6 percent - a very positive sign for the retail sector and encouraging start to the Christmas sales period.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the 0.7 percent increase is a positive sign that we can expect even higher results in December, when the majority of Australians start their Christmas shopping.

“Today’s figures also include online estimates for the first time. Based on the 1.8 percent ABS figure, the ARA estimates overall Australian based annual online retail sales to be $4.74 billion dollars. These retailers are Australian based, pay Australian taxes and employ Australians. 

“It is disappointing however that the ABS data does not include online overseas sales to Australia or by online category. The NAB online survey released yesterday indicated total online sales (overseas and Australian) were traveling at 6.4 percent of total retail sales. If the ABS figures are accurate, 1.8 percent of that figure is from Australian pure play and multichannel online retailers, or accounting for around a third of the online retail market.

“This gives the strongest indication yet that Australian, traditional, multichannel and online retailers who pay GST, while their overseas counterparts do not, is unfairly assisting overseas online retailers to grow their market share. 

“The ARA will be working alongside the ABS to break these figures down by category; as anecdotal evidence would suggest sales as a proportion would be higher in some categories than others. We will also ask the government to collect overseas online sales data.

“Overall, today’s online figures are a great indication that the retail sector has experienced a good start to Christmas and Australian retailers are growing in the online space.

“The largest industry contributor to the monthly rise was other retailing (2.1%), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (2.2%) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.7%). These rises were partially offset by a fall in department stores (-2.0%).

“Summer finally graced us with her presence in November and the welcome change in weather encouraged consumers to make the most of their local takeaway joints, cafes and restaurants (up 2.2%).

“The ARA was also pleased to see turnover rise in Victoria (0.9%), Western Australia (1.3%), New South Wales (0.4%), Queensland (0.5%), South Australia (0.9%), the Northern Territory (1.7%) and Tasmania (0.5%).

“Anecdotally, a number of retailers I have spoken to since Christmas have been blown away by how enormous Boxing Day was and how successful sales have been over the last two weeks. We hope this will be evident in December’s retail trade figures.

“The ARA is looking forward to the official pre and post-Christmas sales results which will be released in February and March,” Mr Zimmerman said. 
MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (October 2013 - November 2013 seasonally adjusted)

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (2.2%), Other retailing (2.1%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.7%), Household goods retailing (0.7%), Food retailing (-0.1%), and Department stores (-2.0%). Total sales (0.7%).          

Northern Territory (1.7%), Western Australia (1.3%), Victoria (0.9%), South Australia (0.9%), Tasmania (0.5%), Queensland (0.5%),New South Wales (0.4%), and Australian Capital Territory (-0.2%). Total sales (0.7%)


YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (November 2012 – November 2013 seasonally adjusted)

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (10.5%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (8.3%), Other retailing (5.2%), Household goods retailing (4.0%),Food retailing (3.3%), and Department stores (-1.1%). Total sales (4.6%).

Tasmania (7.1%) Northern Territory (6.1%), New South Wales (4.9%), Victoria (4.9%), Queensland (4.7%), South Australia (4.6%), Australian Capital Territory (4.1%), and Western Australia (2.6%).
Total sales (4.6%).

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.

Visit wwwretail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.



Contact Us


PO Box 2144