Media Release Trade figures


Thursday 7 September, 2017: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the July trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) proved generally positive, with year-on-year growth remaining steady, and month-to-month growth contracting.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the July retail trade figures continued to show stable growth, and were a positive sign leading into the warmer months.

“Year-on-year growth remains strong for the retail industry with household goods, especially hardware, driving the figures,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The Household Goods category again saw a strong year-on-year increase with an overall 4.62% growth, while Department Stores recorded year-on-year growth for the first time this year with a 1.28% rise.

“It is encouraging to see the Hardware sector continuing to show robust growth year-on-year, with a 5.02% increase” Mr Zimmerman said.

“With the end of deep discounting events after the closure of Masters, the continued growth in the hardware sector as sales begin to normalise is a good sign for the retail industry as a whole.”

Mr Zimmerman said the return to growth in Department Stores was largely attributed to the early offering of spring fashions at the tail end of winter.

“New season fashions have brought customers back into the Department Stores, and the increase in sales bodes well as we move into summer.”

Clothing, Footwear and Personal Accessories continue to face tough conditions, with a modest 1.28% year-on-year increase.

Food retailing continued to remain strong, recording a 3.88% increase year-on-year, largely driven by continued strength in the supermarket sector with a 3.90% increase and a 1.51% increase in specialised food.

All states recorded growth year-on year, a positive sign for the months ahead. Victoria (5.63%) and New South Wales (4.18%) lead the pack with strong year-on-year growth. The Australian Capital Territory (3.95%), Tasmania (3.53%), and South Australia (2.99%) recorded a moderate increase year-on-year.  The Northern Territory (2.96%), Queensland (2.44%) and Western Australia (1.37%) showed gradual increases.

“It is great to see Victoria showing a significant increase in sales year-on-year, and Western Australia beginning to turn around with a change in government bringing some positivity to the west,” Mr Zimmerman said.

MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (June 2017– July 2017 seasonally adjusted)

Department stores (2.35%), Other retailing (1.33%), Food retailing (0.11%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.56%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-1.10%) and Household goods retailing (-1.26%).

Victoria (1.14%), Western Australia (0.51%), Queensland (-0.23%), New South Wales (-0.47%), Northern Territory (-0.56%), Australian Capital Territory (-1.37%), Tasmania (-1.59%) and South Australia (-1.70%).

Total sales (-0.03%).

YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (July 2016 – July 2017 seasonally adjusted)

Household goods retailing (4.62%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (4.48%), Other retailing (4.24%), Food retailing (3.88%), Department stores (1.28%) and Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.15%).

Victoria (5.63%), New South Wales (4.18%), Australian Capital Territory (3.95%), Tasmania (3.53%), South Australia (2.99%), Northern Territory (2.96%), Queensland (2.44%) and Western Australia (1.37%).

Total sales (3.77%).


To arrange an interview with Mr Zimmerman, call the ARA Media line on 0439 612 556, or email

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.

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