Robust retail sales leading into Christmas

Retail sales continued to strengthen in September, with $35.1 billion spent in stores and online – an increase of 17.9% on a year ago and up 0.6% compared to the previous month according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

As we continue to cycle the Delta lockdowns of 2021, there were substantial year on year sales increases across all categories, led by clothing, footwear and personal accessories (up 70.4%), cafés, restaurants and take away food (up 52.6%) and department stores (up 53.6%).

Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said the phenomenal result marks the ninth consecutive month-on-month rise in retail sales.

“It’s fantastic to see the momentum maintained as we head into the all-important Christmas trading period – a time when many of our discretionary retailers make up to two-thirds of their profits. Despite the challenging economic times, retail spending remains extremely healthy and that’s great news for retail and a positive sign for our broader economy,” Mr Zahra said.

“Whilst there is a lot to celebrate, we are mindful of the impact that inflation and higher prices have on these sales results – with year-on-year comparisons also strongly influenced by the hangover of the Delta lockdowns last year.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the months ahead, and the ARA forecasts a 3% year-on-year increase in Christmas spending. We also know that for many small businesses, the sales are critical in replenishing cash reserves from the pandemic period so these results are truly welcome.

“We are likely to see many Australians bring their spending forward this Christmas, as they aim to get in ahead of inflationary increases, avoid supply issues and secure their gifts well ahead of the Christmas rush.

“We could see a softening of sales as we enter 2023. There is likely to be a lag effect from current inflationary conditions as we see the full impact of interest rate increases flow through the economy, and inflation reaches its forecast peak.

“Overall trading conditions continue to be challenged by supply chain constraints and staff shortages with vacancies continuing to be at record levels.

Retail category performance

RETAIL CATEGORY 

YEAR ON YEAR SEASONALLY ADJUSTED RETAIL SALES GROWTH

(SEPTEMBER 2022 v SEPTEMBER 2021) 

 Food retailing

+4.0%

Household goods

+10.6%

Clothing, footwear

and personal accessories

 +70.4% (cycling 11.1% contraction the previous year)

Department stores

+53.6% (cycling 16.8% contraction the previous year)

Cafés, restaurants and takeaway food

+52.6%

Other retailing

+ 11.5%

Total retail

+17.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State and territory performance

STATE/TERRITORY

YEAR ON YEAR SEASONALLY ADJUSTED RETAIL SALES GROWTH

(SEPTEMBER 2022 v SEPTEMBER 2021) 

NSW

+25.9%

Victoria

+22.9%

Queensland

+9.7%

Western Australia

+7.8%

South Australia

+8.7%

ACT

+52.8%

NT

+5.0%

Tasmania

+6.1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Media Enquiries:

Fleur Brown

M  0434 381 670

E media@retail.org.au

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