Retail sales figures fall short in September

Turnover for the first month of spring rose by 0.2 per cent, which shows more needs to be done to lift the sector out of its sales slumber.

National Retail Association (NRA) CEO, Dominique Lamb, says that while Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures are not disastrous, sales were expected to be higher for the month.

“Measures such as tax cuts and reductions to interest rates have already been implemented, but clearly we’re still yet to see retail sales rebound like we would have hoped,” she says.

“Options that should be explored to stimulate sales include fast-tracking tax cuts due to come into effect in the coming years, government spending and even a further cut by the RBA to the cash rate.”

In the meantime, the NRA encourages shoppers to support their local stores and spend any spare change they might have.

“It’s important to back local small businesses who really find it challenging when economic growth stalls.”

Lamb adds that with Christmas approaching, shoppers should keep an eye out for bargain sales as retailers try to entice customers to open their wallets.

“Moving forward we have several big sales events such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday coming up this month, and of course we’re about to enter the busy Christmas trade period.

“Christmas is an important time of the year for retail and many smaller operators rely on strong sales in the festive season to sustain their business throughout quieter parts of the year. A poor Christmas period for retail will have a knock-on effect to other parts of the economy, so we encourage shoppers to indulge in some retail therapy between now and the end of the year.”