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Oz Online Boom, Stores Slugged

That’s according to the latest NAB Online Retail Sales Index which estimates Internet sales rose to A$13 billion in January.

“Online remains much stronger than traditional retail” the bank confirmed in its January Retail Index, published today.

Interestingly, Aussie retailers’ share of the online sales pie increased and accounted for almost 75% of all web sales in January.

Web-sales are now equivalent to 5.8% of traditional bricks and mortar sales (excluding food) and was up almost 30% in January compared to the same time in 2011, notes Alan Oster, Group Chief Economist, NAB.

By comparison, December traditional bricks and mortar retail was up just 0.4% on last year, non-seasonally adjusted.

And there was good news for JB Hi-Fi and Co – ‘Household Goods & Electronics’ showed ‘above average’ growth since November “coinciding with the launch of the Apple iPad Mini and Mac Books with retina display – after a long period of under performance,” notes Oster.

Read: Consumer Electronics Is Getting Betta

However, this electronics sub-sector moderated in January, but is still considerably higher relative to last year.

This massive rise in web sales is also despite January being typically a weaker month for online, and follows a slump in December.

The 30s and 40s age group remain the key demographic for online spending, while Western Australia’s share of spending continues to outpace the others in terms of growth, and continues to rise. 

But the rapidly changing retail environment isn’t lost on Aussie retailers, says Tiernan White, Retail Sector Head & Head of NAB Corporate, NSW.

“It’s clear that our domestic retailers are now fully comprehending the potential of the online retail channel.”

And local retailers’ online epiphany is paying off at the tills as sales for local online retailers, including the likes of The Iconic and JB HiFi, increased by 28% in January, compared with 25% for international retailers like Amazon, year-on-year.

“Successful retailers are providing their customers with alternative ways to shop. In return, the retailer can generate additional sales activity not based on store-wide heavy discounting,” said White.

Retailers are also adopting ‘live inventory management’ techniques to fulfil sales and enhance stock turnover.