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ABS: Record Falls In Personal Retailing & Department Stores In April

According to the final Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures for April, the sector’s turnover fell by 17.7%. This is a slight revision upwards from the ABS’s preliminary numbers, which put the fall at 17.9%.

“There were record falls in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-35.4%), and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-53.6%), as well as a large fall in department stores (-14.9%),” said Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys at the ABS.

These falls were led by COVID-19 restrictions, during which time many retailers shut their doors.

However, this also drove a rise in online retail turnover, which accounted for 11.1% of the total in April. In March online retail contributed just 7.1% of the total.

In addition, online sales made up over 20.5% of sales across household goods, clothing, footwear and personal accessory, department stores, and other retailing.

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