ABS November 2016 trade figures demonstrate a good lead up to Christmas sales (3.27% growth year-on-year)


Tuesday 10 January 2017: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the trade figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) illustrate a healthy lead up to the 2016 Christmas period with a year-on-year growth of 3.27% seasonally adjusted.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said this year-on-year growth is a positive sign for the industry as retailers remain hopeful that the ARA and Roy Morgan predicted pre-Christmas sales figure of $48.1 billion over the Christmas trading period (November 15 to December 24, 2016) will be achieved.

“We won’t be able to confirm the actual pre-Christmas spend until December retail figures are released next month. However, after speaking with retailers across the country, many reported a strong start to Christmas sales in November due to many consumers getting on top of their holiday shopping early.”

With November leading into holiday season, consumers likely spent more time out and about enjoying the good weather and social drinks as reflected in liquor sales growth of 4.85% year-on-year.

“The Takeaway Services category also demonstrated robust growth, taking the lead again with a 9.91% increase year-on-year reflecting consumer uptake of innovative services and products in the space,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Another category experiencing a strong year-on-year increase was Clothing, Footwear and Accessories at 5.82%. With the warmer weather approaching and Christmas around the corner, consumers appeared to have hit the shops to update their wardrobes with the early summer fashion trends.”

Despite the closure of a number of Masters stores across Australia, other hardware retailers, particularly Bunnings, lead the charge for another exceptional growth in Hardware at 10.15% year-on-year.

New South Wales proves to be the strongest of the states with a 4.25% growth year-on-year, while all other states remain steady (VIC 3.45%, QLD 3.67%, TAS 3.72%, SA 2.82%, ACT 6.44%). As expected, the mining jurisdictions, WA (-0.57%) and NT (0.31%), reflected a weakness in sales due to the downturn in resources in these regions.

“Though these figures don’t necessarily reflect Christmas sales, they generally provide a strong indication as to what we can expect for retail sales over the festive season,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“I’m confident December figures will prove to be strong as many consumers, including myself, usually leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute,” he added.

MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (October 2016 – November 2016 seasonally adjusted)

Household goods retailing (0.2%), Other retailing (-0.1%), Food retailing (0.4%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (1.7%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.8%) and Department stores (-0.3%). Total sales (0.2%).

Northern Territory (0.3%), South Australia (-0.4%), Australian Capital Territory (0.1%), Victoria (0.4%), Tasmania (0.1%), Western Australia (-0.6%), New South Wales (0.5%) and Queensland (0.1%).

YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (November 2015 – November 2016 seasonally adjusted)

Household goods retailing (3.08%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (4.99%), Food retailing (3.07%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (5.83%), Other retailing (10.55%) and Department stores (-3.21%). Total sales (3.28%).

New South Wales (4.25%), South Australia (2.82%), Tasmania (3.72%), Victoria (3.45%), Australian Capital Territory (6.44%), Western Australia (-0.57%), Queensland (3.67%) and Northern Territory (-0.31%).


For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556 E:media@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.


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