The retail year has started with a bang says the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), with a 3.11 per cent total growth year-on-year, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics trade figures.
Exceeding the sales growth of 2.9 per cent predicted by the ARA and Roy Morgan Research, ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman says it is a strong sign of better things to come.
“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,” he explains.
“We are expecting this future growth to be complemented by improved conditions due the forthcoming reduction in Sunday penalty rates, leading to increased trading hours and greater sales volumes.”
Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing saw a strong growth of 5.18 per cent year-on-year, continuing December’s positive sales trend, warm summer weather and sustained post-Christmas discounting cycles. Household retailing is also on the up, growing by 2 per cent year-on-year.
In regards to the states, South Australia (4.5 per cent), Victoria (3.82 per cent) and NSW (3.19 per cent) lead the charge with solid year-on-year growth figures. Queensland (2.83 per cent year-on-year) and Tasmania (3.54 per cent 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.”
By Marion Gerritsen