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NSW Retail Plunges 8.9% As Oz Sings The Delta Blues

Retail trade has crashed by almost nine per cent in NSW as Delta lockdowns continue, with trade figures nationwide dropping 2.7 per cent in July as compared to June.

Statistics released by the ABS show NSW was the hardest hit state, with turnover down 8.9 per cent in July compared to the previous month, followed by South Australia at 3.3 per cent and Queensland at 0.9 per cent.

Clothing, footwear, and personal accessories plummeted 15.4 per cent in July, with department stores dropping 11.4 per cent; household goods were better off at just a 2.2 per cent drop.

According to Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, the figures confirm the severe impact the Delta variant and associated lockdowns are having on the economy and in particular small businesses.

“Consumer and business confidence has been shattered by the recent outbreaks in multiple states, and the state and federal supports just haven’t been enough to save a number of businesses from closing their doors permanently.

“The lockdowns are also having an impact on employment, with payroll jobs falling by nearly nine per cent in Greater Sydney since the stay-at-home orders were introduced in late June, and a significant proportion of those losses were in the retail industry,” he said.

Zahra has urged as many people as possible to get vaccinated, with reopenings tipped for when the country reaches 70 to 80 per cent vaccine coverage of the population.

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