Retail Sales March 2021

Australian retailers enjoyed a pre-Christmas miracle in November, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting a 13.3 per cent increase in turnover compared with 12 months earlier.

The ABS today released its final figures for November, announcing an increase from October of 7.1 per cent, seasonally adjusted.

The strongest growth areas were in clothing and footwear (up by 26.7%), department store spending (21.1%), and household goods (12.7%).

Victoria recorded the strongest growth – an increase of 22.4 per cent after its lockdown was lifted during the month. But even states that were not recording a rebound from lockdown performed well, with Queensland (4.5%) and Tasmania (3.4%) the next best.

National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb said the November figures were a pre-Christmas miracle for Australian retailers, and precisely what the industry needed after a difficult year.

“It’s understandable that there would be an increase from October to November as lockdowns eased,” Ms Lamb said.

“What’s most pleasing is the very strong year-on-year increase. This shows that Australian consumers remained confident and were spending on items for themselves and for their homes.

“Clearly people had more cash in their pockets, despite the higher than expected unemployment rates. This is partly due to the lock down and inability to travel, but it’s also due to the well targeted stimulus packages delivered by the state and federal governments.

“These measures have clearly worked to keep the economy strong, and today’s figures prove they have saved a lot of jobs.

“Based on the feedback we have received from members, we expect a strong showing in December as well.”