Retail sector proves its resilience

2 OCTOBER, 2015: Retail has proved resilience according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), with the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealing year on year Retail Trade figure growth of 4.6 percent for August 2015.

It is the seventh month in a row of more than four per cent growth, with July 2015 retail sales showing 4.2 percent.

Year on year figures provide the most accurate measure of the sector’s performance and are the figures used by most retail businesses in their own reporting. Month on month growth for August 2015 over July 2015 was 0.4 percent.

Russell Zimmerman, ARA Executive Director, said the rise was the result of the tail end of winter sales, evidenced by the significant increases in department store and household goods sales.

“The half yearly sales period has triggered a flurry of activity which has provided a nice boost to the retail industry,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Department stores, which have been experiencing yearly growth of around one to two percent for the past 12 months, have seen a 6.9 percent rise. This will be music to the department store chain’s ears, coming off the back of a long period of static growth.

“The household goods category has also been a beneficiary of the retail spending increases, recording the largest rise at 9.6 percent.

“Clothing, footwear and personal accessories has now seen six consecutive months of above average growth, indicating this category is back on track following an earlier lag in sales,” said Mr Zimmerman.

YEAR ON YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (August 2014 to August 2015 seasonally adjusted)

By category:
Food,  3.1 percent; household goods, 9.6 percent; clothing, footwear and personal accessories,  6.5 percent; department stores, 6.9 percent; other retailing, 2.3 percent; café restaurants, 3.5 percent and takeaway foods, 4.6 percent.

By state:
NSW, 6 percent; Victoria,  4.8 percent; Queensland, 3.7 percent; South Australia, 4.8; Western Australia, 3.1 percent; Tasmania, 2.8 percent; Northern Territory, -0.8 percent; and 4.8 Australian Capital Territory,  percent.


About the Australian Retailers Association:
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $284 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 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.

For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email






Retail Voice CEO Message: 29 March 2023

With the New South Wales state election complete, we now have a Labor government in place in every state except Tasmania and an 18 month window without any elections occurring.  
This provides a period where we may see significant reform and potentially for national alignment in key policy areas across Australia.  

The rich tapestry of neurodiversity

There is a slow shift towards incorporating design aspects that create more inclusive shopping experiences for customers of all neurotypes. Retailers willing to explore this hidden customer segment can deliver a more easy, engaging and inclusive experience both in-store and online.

Retail Voice CEO Message: 15 March 2023

Retail crime continues to be a concern with many businesses recording an increase in shoplifting. 
In the latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data coming out of New South Wales, retail theft increased 23.7% year-on-year.