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Retail Turnover Increases by 3.3 Percent, Despite Victoria’s Tough Restrictions
Retail has experienced a 3.3 percent increase across all categories in July, seasonally adjusted, in a new report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Australian retail turnover has risen 3.3 percent in July, according to the ABS preliminary results.
Turnover has risen 122 percent compared to July 2019. There have been recorded increases in retail across the board, with the exception of Victoria as it continues to battle Stage Four restrictions.
“Retail turnover rose in all states and territories except Victoria in July. The rise across the rest of the country was driven by continued strength in household goods retailing, and the recovery in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing,” said Ben James, the Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys.
“Victoria’s decline in retail turnover coincided with increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, and the re-introduction of Stage 3 stay-at-home restrictions in July, impacting turnover.”
With the spike in active cases increasing in Victoria across the month of July, there was a fall in sales of to percent in the state and was the only state to record a monthly fall.
According to the report, there were increases in all industries in July, with household goods retailing leading the increases, with turnover 30 percent higher in July 2020 than in July 2019. Increased sales of larger items including furniture and whitegoods led to the rise this month.
“We anticipate remaining in a two-speed retail economy for much of the year, with Victorian retailers the main outlier in an otherwise strong result,” said Paul Zahra, the CEO of the Australian Retailer’s Association. “Anecdotally, online sales remain elevated, which suggests online shopping habits developed over the initial lockdown are becoming permanent. The ARA strongly advocated for online trading to remain in place within Victoria and it’s heartening to know that many retailers have strengthened their online presence and sales. This provides an important hedge against store closures and lockdowns.”
“Whilst there is a lot to feel positive about in the July results, discretionary retailers and those in CBD, tourist locations and of course within Victoria, continue to face vastly different outcomes to those in essential and household categories.
“We are encouraged by these numbers, but also mindful that retail spending will be impacted by the tapering off of current benefits such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker, along with a related rise in unemployment in the coming months,” he said.