Valentines Day Saves Retail’s Bacon
Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 per cent in February 2014, seasonally adjusted, the latest ABS Retail Trade figures show. This follows a 1.2 per cent rise in January.
Year-on-year retail rose 4.8 percent in February, seasonally adjusted. Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said Valentine’s Day was a major contributing factor, proclaiming, “2014 starting to look up for the Australian retail sector.”
On average, consumers spent about $86 on their loved one for Valentines Day.
There was also good news for electronics retailers. Household goods retailing was up 2% per cent, and within that sub group ‘Electrical and electronic’ retail rose (0.3%), followed by Other retailing (+1.9 per cent).
Food retail including cafes and restaurants along with clothing and personal accessory retailing, both witnessed marginal rises, up 0.1%. But there was bad news for department stores which fell almost 5 per cent in February.
“It is also no surprise that household goods (2.0%) and other retailing (1.9%) were large contributors to February results, with Valentine’s Day being a major celebratory occasion,” said Zimmerman.
IBIS World estimated that $791.4 million was spent on gifts and experiences on Valentine’s Day this year – up 1.8 percent on 2013.
“Department stores experienced a significant drop in sales (-4.7%) which was to be expected as shoppers reign in their post-Christmas spending and start looking at their budgets for the year ahead.”
The trend estimate for Australian retail turnover rose 0.7 per cent in February.