ABS December 2014 retail trade figures released TODAY (0.2 percent increase) – great result for Christmas trade but government must drive growth for 2015

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the seasonally adjusted rise (0.2 percent increase) in monthly retail trade figures (month-on-month) reported today by the ABS followed a 0.1 percent rise in November 2014.

Year on year retail growth rose 4.1 percent (seasonally adjusted, compared to December 2014) – a very positive sign for the retail industry.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the ARA had hoped December retail trade would see 6 percent year on year growth but 4.1 percent was still a great achievement for the industry.

“While most retail businesses enjoyed a steady month of sales in December, feedback from retailers is that there was a major post-Christmas sales surge which won’t be fully reflected in these December sales figures.

“Uncertainty in the build up to the Victorian, New South Wales and Queensland elections may have also had an impact on confidence in the lead up to Christmas, which is always the case with elections.

“Industries which experienced rises were clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.7%) and food retailing (0.3%). These rises were to be expected with apparel and accessories proving popular choices for Christmas gifts as usual, and many specialty clothing and footwear stores employing highly effective marketing strategies for their Christmas promotions this year. Food retailing was also always going to see a sales increase, with food remaining an integral part of the festive season for all Australians.

“Unfortunately, department store results were down both month on month (-0.9%) and year on year (-0.3%) and the ARA received feedback from department store retailers across the country that trading was tough for them this Christmas.

“In seasonally adjusted terms the states which displayed rises were Queensland (0.6%), New South Wales (0.2%), Western Australia (0.5%) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.4%). Victoria was relatively unchanged (0.0%) and there were falls in South Australia (-0.4%), Tasmania (-1.3%) and the Northern Territory (-0.1%),” Mr Zimmerman said.

MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (November 2014 – December 2014 seasonally adjusted)

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.7%), Food retailing (0.3%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.0%), Other retailing (0.0%), Household goods retailing (-0.4%) and Department stores (-0.9%).Total sales (0.2%).      

Queensland (0.6%), Western Australia (0.5%), Australian Capital Territory (0.4%), New South Wales (0.2%), Northern Territory (-0.1%), Victoria (0.0%), South Australia (-0.4%) and Tasmania (-1.3%).Total sales (0.2%).

YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (December 2014 – December 2013 seasonally adjusted)

Household goods retailing (9.7%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (4.6%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (4.0%), Food retailing (2.6%), Other retailing (0.6%) and Department stores (-0.3%). Total sales (4.1%).

New South Wales (6.9%), Victoria (4.2%), South Australia (4.0%), Northern Territory (3.1%), Australian Capital Territory (2.7%), Queensland (1.7%), Western Australia (1.6%) and Tasmania (0.9%).Total sales (4.1%).

Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. Visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

-ends- For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556  E: media@retail.org.au



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