Open retail with mask

Peak industry body the National Retail Association (NRA) has today welcome a double dose of good news, with a strong rise in retail sales figures for September, and Victoria further easing restrictions.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the retail trade had increased by 1.3 per cent compared with the August figures, and by 1.7 per cent year-on-year, seasonally adjusted.

Most states recorded positive growth for the month, with Queensland the stand-out performer at 5.2 per cent.

Even Victoria, despite its long-running lockdown, only contracted 2.1 per cent for the month.

“By far the worst performer was the Australian Capital Territory, which went backwards by 12 per cent,” Ms Lamb said.

“This can be directly attributed to the massive over-reach of the ACT Government in not only closing down stores, but also closing down online trade for the biggest retailers.

“The NRA warned the ACT Government earlier this year that its unwarranted ban on internet shopping would harm retail sales and cost jobs. Today, sadly, we see the proof of that.”

On the bright said, Ms Lamb welcome the further opening up of Victoria’s retail shopping environment, and predicted it would lead to a positive November and Christmas sales period.

“November has become a big month for online shopping, and we expect that to continue this year,” Ms lamb said.

“However, with Victorians experiencing freedom for the first time in such a long period, we expect that they will want to shop in store rather than on line.

“Either way, today’s numbers and the Victorian easing are a very welcome double dose of good news for retailers in that state and across the country.”