January retail sales increase 7.5% year-on-year

Retail sales experienced solid year-on-year growth in January 2023 – an increase of 7.5% on the same time the previous year – according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Shoppers celebrated the New Year in their stride, spending more than $35 billion across the country. There were significant year-on-year sales increases for cafes, restaurants and takeaway (up 26.3%), department stores (up 16.6 %) and clothing, footwear and accessories (up 17.5%).

The only category to show decline year-on-year was household goods (down 1.1%), after record sales during the pandemic when all things at home were in hot demand.

New South Wales (up 9.1%), Victoria (up 7.1%), and Queensland (up 6.5%) all recorded notable increases year-on-year.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra said whilst the sales results remain impressive, the cost of doing business and gross margins for many retailers remains a serious concern.

“Today’s sales data is a strong result, particularly for apparel traders and department stores who have worked hard to clear their summer inventory,” he said.

“There’s no doubt that an impressive Boxing Day trade certainly bolstered these sales, with the shoppathon a fixture on the January calendar.

“The sales recorded by restaurants and cafes are particularly strong – and it’s clear the appetite for dining out has been boosted after the challenges of the pandemic.”

Australian Bureau of Statistics Retail Trade Data – January 2023

Jan 2022 Jan 2023 Increase/decrease
Food $13243 m $13829 m +4.5%
Household goods $5890 m $5824 m -1.1%
Clothing, footwear, accessories $2516 m $2955 m +17.5%
Department stores $1604 m $1871 m +16.6%
Other retailing $5267 m $5391 m +2.4%
Cafes, restaurants, takeaway $4126 m $5210 m +26.3%
Total $32648 m $35091 m +7.5%


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