ABS November 2014 retail trade figures released TODAY (0.1 percent increase) – slow start to pre-Christmas sales

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the seasonally adjusted rise (0.1 percent increase) in monthly retail trade figures (month-on-month) reported today by the ABS followed a 0.4 percent rise in October 2014.

While November’s month on month growth was disappointing, year on year retail growth rose 5 percent (seasonally adjusted, compared to November 2013) – a positive sign for the retail industry.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said retailers remain hopeful that the ARA and Roy Morgan predicted pre-Christmas sales figure of $45 billion (expected to go through retail tills from 15 November 2014 to 24 December 2014) will be achieved.

“We won’t be able to confirm the actual pre-Christmas spend until December retail figures are released next month. However, after speaking with retailers across the country, many reported a fairly slow start to Christmas sales in November due to the reluctance of consumers to start their holiday shopping early. As usual, consumers left most of their shopping until the last minute.

“Industries which experienced rises were cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.8%) and household goods retailing (0.6%) and food retailing (0.6%). Department stores remained relatively unchanged (0.0%). This was partially offset by falls in other retailing (-2.1%) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.7%).

“The Brisbane G20 may have also affected sales in November. The Australian Retail Index (delivered by BDO and Retail Express) stated that accessibility and availability are fundamental to sales, and both were diminished in the lead up to the G20 as barricades and closures were planted to etch a safe zone for the worlds most powerful. There was less traffic in Brisbane’s CBD, shops temporarily suspended operations and a public holiday had been declared – all of which contributed to slower sales.

“In seasonally adjusted terms the states which displayed rises were Victoria (0.4%), South Australia (0.4%), the Australian Capital Territory (1.3%), Tasmania (1.1%), the Northern Territory (1.6%) and Queensland (0.1%). This was partially offset by falls in New South Wales (-0.2%) and Western Australia (-0.1%),” Mr Zimmerman said.

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

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.8%), Household goods retailing (0.6%), Food retailing (0.6%), Department stores (0.0%),Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.7%) and Other retailing (-2.1%).Total sales (0.1%).                

Northern Territory (1.6%), Australian Capital Territory (1.3%), Tasmania (1.1%) South Australia (0.4%), Victoria (0.4%), Queensland (0.1%), Western Australia (-0.1%) and New South Wales (-0.2%). Total sales (0.1%).

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

Household goods retailing (11.2%), Food retailing (6.6%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (5.9%), Department stores (2.0%). Other retailing (-1.7%) and Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-2.4%).Total sales (5.0%).

 New South Wales (8.7%), Victoria (5.6%), Tasmania (4.6%), South Australia (4.5%), Australian Capital Territory (3.5%), Northern Territory (1.9%), Queensland (1.4%) and Western Australia (1.0%).Total sales (5.0%).

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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