ABS October 2014 retail trade figures released TODAY (0.4 percent increase) – retailers hope pre-Christmas sales will make up for a tough year in business

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 1.2 percent rise in September 2014.

While October’s month on month growth was modest, year on year retail growth rose 5.7 percent (seasonally adjusted, compared to October 2013) – a positive sign for the retail industry.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said retail sales were fairly slow in October thanks to the unpredictable weather and the reluctance of consumers to get a head start on their Christmas shopping.

“In seasonally adjusted terms household goods retailing rose 1.4 percent. Other industries which experienced rises were food retailing (0.5%), department stores (2.0%), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.1%) and other retailing (0.2%). Halloween may have played a helping hand in these categories achieving a bump in sales as the event is becoming a bigger treat for retailers every October with a growing demand for lollies, spooky costumes, decorations and pumpkins.


“In seasonally adjusted terms the states which displayed rises were New South Wales (0.7%), Queensland (0.4%), South Australia (1.2%), Western Australia (0.1%) and the Australian Capital Territory (0.4%). Victoria remained relatively unchanged (0.0%). Tasmania (-1.0%) and the Northern Territory (-0.4%) both experienced a fall in sales.

“The Australian Retail Index (delivered by BDO and Retail Express) reported that the end of October saw all sectors showing slight but positive growth results, with the exception of furniture which dropped 2.3 percent. This sector is not traditionally influenced by the Christmas rush as much as other retail sectors.

“October’s modest results are somewhat expected and it will be interesting to see whether November’s results show a much sharper spike in sales when pre-Christmas shopping gets into full swing.

“The ARA is confident that retailers will achieve the expected $45 billion in sales between 15 November and 24 December, and we look forward to confirming these statistics in the New Year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

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

Department stores (2.0%), Household goods retailing (1.4%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.1%), Food retailing (0.5%), Other retailing (0.2%) and Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-2.1%). Total sales (0.4%).        

South Australia (1.2%), New South Wales (0.7%), Australian Capital Territory (0.4%), Queensland (0.4%), Western Australia (0.1%), Victoria (0.0%), Tasmania (-1.0%) and Northern Territory (-0.4%). Total sales (0.4%).

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

Household goods retailing (11.5%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (7.1%), Food retailing (5.7%), Other retailing (2.8%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.4%) and Department

stores (-0.2%). Total sales (5.7%).

New South Wales (9.8%), Victoria (6.0%), South Australia (4.8%), Tasmania (4.0%), Western Australia (2.6%), Queensland (1.9%), Australian Capital Territory (1.4%) and Northern Territory (1.1%). Total sales (5.7%).

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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