Retailers enjoy September sales boost
After a 0.3 per cent sales increase in August and a 0.6 per cent sales increase in July, retailers enjoyed a September sales boost of 0.9 per cent, according to retail data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
National Retail Association deputy CEO, Lindsay Carroll, says the sales boost is a welcome reprieve for retailers as Aussies hit the shops to get summer ready.
“As people anticipate a hotter-than-usual summer on the horizon they loosened up their purse strings in preparation,” she explains.
“Department stores and household goods retailers experienced the highest sales boosts of 1.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively. It’s pleasing to see healthy industry data for a change and hope that it isn’t short-lived.”
Australian Retailers Association CEO, Paul Zahra, says the September results were somewhat more stable than previous months but reiterated that it will still be a nervous wait for retailers heading into the all-important Christmas trading period.
“Several discretionary categories have recovered from decline on the previous month, mostly driven by more promotional discounting,” he says.
“However, this does give retailers a cautious bit of optimism heading into these vital trading months.”
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision on Melbourne Cup Day will be pivotal to the success of retailers during the most important trading time of the year, adds Zahra.
“Discretionary retailers make up to two-thirds of their profits during the all-important Christmas period, so poor performance can be make-or-break, particularly for small business.
“Whilst much has been said about the cost-of-living crisis, retailers are also experiencing a cost of doing business crisis and will be concentrating on offering the best service and value for budget conscious shoppers as they lead into the all-important Christmas trading period.”