April retail sales record 4.2 percent year-on-year growth 

As discretionary consumer spending continues to slow, retail sales recorded 4.2% year-on-year growth in April, bolstered by cafes, restaurants and takeaway.

According to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), shoppers spent more than $35.2 billion across the country in April.

The most significant year-on-year sales increases were for cafes, restaurants and takeaway (up 13.2%). Department stores (up 6.5%) food (up 6.2%) and clothing, footwear and accessories (up 4.9%) also showed modest growth.

Other retailing (books, sport and camping, cosmetics) spending increased by 0.2% while household goods declined year-on-year by 4.9%.

All states and territories recorded growth year-on-year, led by South Australia (up 7.6%) followed by the ACT (up 6.7%), Western Australia (up 6.3%), Victoria (up 4.4%), New South Wales (up 4.3%), Northern Territory (3.9%), Tasmania (up 2.5%) and Queensland (up 1.4%).

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra said whilst sales are slowing, several categories showed reasonable sales growth year-on-year, especially amid a cost-of-living crisis.

“Cost-of-living pressures are the greatest current concern for retailers and their customers and this continues to affect retail sales – a trend we expect to see continue in the coming months,” Mr Zahra said.

“While the numbers are still positive – the slowdown in retail spending is certainly already in effect and when you factor in price increases these results are having an impact on margins.

“Year-on-year spending on household goods continues to decline, but this also reflects the bumper trading in this category during the pandemic years.

“It’s good to see restaurants and cafes continue to do well. However, we are mindful that price increases are also having an impact and will be putting pressure on margins,” said Mr Zahra.




New South Wales $10.608 billion $11.072 billion +4.3%
Victoria $8.673 billion $9.059 billion +4.4%
Queensland $7.099 billion $7.204 billion +1.4%
South Australia $2.122 billion $2.284 billion +7.6%
Western Australia $3.730 billion $3.965 billion +6.3%
Tasmania $679 million $696 million +2.5%
Northern Territory $302 million $314 million +3.9%
ACT $622 million $664 million +6.7%
Total $33.837 billion $35.262 billion +4.2%





Food $13.143 billion $13.969 billion +6.2%
Household goods $6.021 billion $5.723 billion -4.9%
Clothing, footwear, accessories $2.871 billion $3.014 billion +4.9%
Department stores $1.798 billion $1.916 billion +6.5%
Cafes, restaurants, takeaway $4.674 billion $5.295 billion +13.2%
Other $5.270 billion $5.353 billion +0.2%
Total $33.837 billion $35.262 billion +4.2%






Media Enquiries: 

M 0434 381 670

E media@retail.org.au




Inaugural ARA Awards to Showcase Retail Excellence

Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has launched the inaugural ARA Awards, celebrating excellence and innovation within the Australian retail sector. The ARA Awards 2024, sponsored by principal partner American Express, culminates in a ceremony revealing the winners at Crown Casino in Melbourne on 19 September 2024.

Read More »

Australians share the Valentine’s Day love today

Celebrations of love are expected to flourish today, with Aussies predicted to splash $465 million on traditional gifts for loved ones as well as gifts for self on Valentine’s Day. Research from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), in conjunction with Roy Morgan, shows 3.4 million Australians will this year spend

Read More »

Retailers welcome WA’s tougher penalties for assaults on retail workers

Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has welcomed the Western Australian Government’s plans to introduce legislation to implement tougher penalties for people who assault or abuse retail workers. The landmark reforms, being introduced to Parliament this week, will see Western Australia join the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales

Read More »