The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the trade figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) represent a better than expected start to the retail year with 3.11% total growth year-on-year and a 0.4% jump for January alone.
Post-Christmas spending estimates by the ARA and Roy Morgan Research predicted sales growth of 2.9% year on year. It says that exceeding this figure is a strong sign for a broader rebound in the retail sector.
“Coming off the back of a moderate Christmas sales period, this post-Christmas sales figure is positive indication for the rest of the trading year. We are expecting this future growth to be complimented by improved conditions due the forthcoming reduction in Sunday Penalty Rates, leading to increased trading hours and greater sales volumes,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Food Retailing showed a steady yearly growth figure of 3.49%, with the Takeaway Food Services sub-category again booming with an exceptional increase of 11.91% year-on-year.
Supermarkets and Grocery Stores posted the strongest figure in several months with a year-on-year growth of 3.38%.
In regards to the State categories, South Australia (4.5%), Victoria (3.82%) and NSW (3.19%) lead the charge with solid year-on-year growth figures. Queensland (2.83% year-on-year) and Tasmania (3.54% year-on-year) also showed moderate to good increases for the period.
“Overall, the January retail growth figures represent a firm foundation for the trading year, and we are hopeful for the continued growth of the sector as a number of significant legislative changes are implemented throughout 2017,” Mr Zimmerman said.
According to AACS Executive Director, Jeff Rogut, growth in convenience store sales over the past year continues to be strong.
“In the 2015 year, convenience store sales grew at 3.7 per cent,” he told C&I WEEK. “And I expect a similar figure for the 2017 year. In fact convenience has grown faster than grocery for several years now.”
“The main drivers are foodservice products which have tended to offset lower average transaction sizes in tobacco.”
MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (December 2016 – January 2017 seasonally adjusted)
Household goods retailing (1.4%), Other retailing (0.1%), Food retailing (0.2%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.4%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (1.1%) and Department stores (-0.5%). Total sales (0.4%).
Northern Territory (-0.8%), South Australia (0.6%), Australian Capital Territory (1.2%), Victoria (1.1%), Tasmania (0.4%), Western Australia (0.3%), New South Wales (0.2%) and Queensland (0.0%).
YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (January 2016 – January 2017 seasonally adjusted)
Household goods retailing (2.00%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (6.01%), Food retailing (3.49%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (5.18%), Other retailing (2.61%) and Department stores (-3.89%). Total sales (3.11%).