Friday 2 December 2016:With Christmas around the corner, retail continues to grow steadily with a 3.5% growth seasonally adjusted (year on year) in October 2016, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is confident in the steady growth reflected in these statistics and is enthusiastically looking forward to a profitable Christmas season.

Department stores are one of the few categories experiencing a downturn in growth, with a negative growth figure of -3.6% year on year. This decline is an expected outcome of the restructure of two major mid-range department chains this year.

Hospitality has seen a very positive 7.3% growth year on year as foot traffic to restaurants, bars and takeaway stores begins to ramp up during the festive season.

“The real boom is in takeaway foods with a strong 12% increase year-on-year. This may be due to the new entrants of innovative takeaway services to the retail market and the continued expansion of fast-food retailers across the nation,” ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said.

“Another category that is growing strongly is hardware (8.4% year on year), despite the closures of a large number of Masters stores across Australia. This increase likely indicates the strength of the Australian housing market and the confidence of homeowners to invest and renovate their homes,” Mr Zimmerman said.

In regards to the state categories, Victoria (3.36%), NSW (3.75%) and Queensland (4.51%) remain steady, with the exception of Australian Capital Territory with an 8% growth year on year. This increase appears to be a result of the employment of new staff in Canberra.

“In line with our predicted total shopping spend of more than $48.1 billion over the Christmas trading period, this year looks set to be a cheerful one for shoppers and retailers alike.” Mr. Zimmerman said.

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

Household goods retailing (0.7%), Other retailing (0.8%), Food retailing (0.6%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.4%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.4%) and Department stores (0.4%).

Northern Territory (0.3%), South Australia (-0.1%), Australian Capital Territory (0.9%), Victoria (0.5%), Tasmania (0.6%), Western Australia (0.4%), New South Wales (0.3%) and Queensland (0.8%).

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

Household goods retailing (3.8%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (7.3%), Food retailing (2.7%), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (4.5%), Other retailing (9.6%) and Department stores (-3.6%).

New South Wales (3.8%), South Australia (3.9%), Tasmania (3.9%), Victoria (3.4%), Australian Capital Territory (8.3%), Western Australia (0.7%), Queensland (4.5%) and Northern Territory (0.4%).


For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $300 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 or call 1300 368 041.


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