June figures show retail sales increase

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, retail turnover rose by a solid 2.4 per cent last month, which is a positive sign for this struggling market.

The rise in turnover follows the lifting of several business restrictions and the first full month that bars, restaurants and clothing stores were allowed to trade again.

National Retail Association (NRA) CEO Dominique Lamb says they expected a pickup in sales for these businesses but turnover for this section of retail is still well below June 2019.

Especially the recent lockdown of Victoria shows that the retail sector still has a long way to go.

“We can’t accurately assess how retail is travelling by looking at one month in isolation,” she explains.

“In the last four months turnover has fluctuated wildly due to panic-buying, lockdown restrictions and economic uncertainty.

“The second-wave of Covid-19 infections in Victoria, along with the subsequent reimposition of restrictions, underlines that the future is far from certain.

“We welcomed the extension of the JobKeeper program announced last week, although we would have preferred to see it extended on an industry basis.

“Only one per cent of retailers are looking to employ more people at present. The extension of JobKeeper until March will hopefully result in a boost to business confidence, but many employers will continue to tread carefully.”