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Oz Retail Turnover Up A Record 16.9% In May

According to the final retail trade figures for May 2020 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), turnover rose 16.9% that month.

“The gradual easing of social distancing regulations, and the re-opening of physical stores, bolstered retail trade in May,” said Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys.

“Retailers across a range of industries reported high numbers of consumers returning to stores, with some retailers noting levels similar to those seen in December.”

The largest month-on-month increases were recorded in clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (129.9%), and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (30.3%). However, both these subcategories recorded very low levels of trade in April and remain well below levels of trade in May 2019.

Meanwhile, department stores rose by 44.4%, household goods retailing increased by 16.6% and food retailing was up 7.2%.

According to the ABS, online sales contributed 10.1% to total retail turnover, down 11.1% on the proportion recorded in April 2020, as physical stores reopened. Despite the slight month-on-month decline, according to the NAB, online retail sales rose by 50.4% year-on-year in May. The NAB predicts that online retailing to continue to be a mainstay of Australian retailing post-COVID.

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