ABS January 2015 retail trade figures released TODAY (0.4 percent increase) – post-Christmas sales and summer holidays boost department store and hospitality spend

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the seasonally adjusted rise (0.4 percent increase) in monthly retail trade figures (month-on-month) reported today by the ABS followed a 0.2 percent rise in December 2014.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said retailers reported strong sales in the first week of January but experienced a tougher trading environment towards the end of the month.

“Boxing Day was huge for retailers this year and many consumers carried on bargain hunting well into the first half of January.

“Department stores struggled during December, but come January, it seems effective promotions were successful in drawing people in-store.

“While food retailing suffered during January (-0.7%) due to consumers often being away from home and choosing to eat out instead, the cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services sector enjoyed a nice boost in sales (2.0%). As always at this time of year, Aussies are out and about socialising with friends and family at their local eateries.

“With many consumers returning to work from their Christmas holiday towards the end of January, there was a natural drop in discretionary spending which unfortunately impacted the clothing, footwear and personal accessory sector (0.1%).

“It will be interesting to see the results of February retail sales when this information is released next month, as Valentine’s Day usually provides retailers with another welcome boost in sales,” Mr Zimmerman said.

In seasonally adjusted terms the states which displayed rises were Queensland (1.2%), Victoria (0.5%), Tasmania (1.9%) and Western Australia (0.1%). New South Wales was relatively unchanged (0.0%). There were falls in the Australian Capital Territory (-1.9%), the Northern Territory (-1.8%) and South Australia (-0.1%). 

MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (December 2014 – January 2015 seasonally adjusted)

Department stores (2.2%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (2.0%), Other retailing (1.0%), Household goods retailing (0.7%) Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.1%), Food retailing (-0.7%) and Total sales (0.4%).                

Tasmania (1.9%), Queensland (1.2%), Victoria (0.5%), Western Australia (0.1%), New South Wales (0.0%),  South Australia (-0.1%), Northern Territory (-1.8%) and Australian Capital Territory (-1.9%). Total sales (0.4%).

 YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (January 2014 – January 2015 seasonally adjusted)

 Household goods retailing (8.7%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (5.0%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (3.0%), Food retailing (2.2%), Other retailing (1.1%) and Department stores (1.1%). Total sales (3.5%).

 New South Wales (5.2%), Victoria (3.6%), South Australia (3.1%), Queensland (2.4%), Western Australia (2.1%), Tasmania (1.9%), Australian Capital Territory (1.7%) and Northern Territory (-2.0%). Total sales (3.5%).

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