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The winners of NSW’s reopened retail: CBA

New South Wales customers came out in force to support local businesses last week, after retail and personal service businesses were finally able to open their doors to the public again.

According to data from CommBank, clothing stores saw spending jump 336 per cent compared with the week prior, while jewellery sales rose 419 per cent and toys and games stores saw sales grow 235 per cent. Luggage sales were also up 830 per cent, with many Australians preparing for a potential return to international and domestic tourism.

And, potentially the biggest winner out of the entire lockdown-related shift in consumer spending, home furnishing, also saw strong growth at 245 per cent.

“It’s fantastic to see everyone across NSW rally to support businesses both large and small and spending big,” said CBA group executive of business banking Mike Vacy-Lale.

“It’s been a challenging time for the small business community in particular, and their continued resilience is a credit to their drive and dedication to their communities.”

According to the bank’s spending data, massage businesses saw sales grow 735 per cent, hairdressers and barbers were up 694 per cent, and beauty treatments were up 676 per cent.

ARA boss Paul Zahra said ‘Freedom Day’ trading was a welcome start, and that the mood around retail has been positive.

“It’s taken enormous effort on the part of NSW government and businesses to reach [this] milestone – and we can be proud of the results,” Zahra said last week.

“[This] outcome is a great test-case for Victoria and we can feel confidently optimistic of a positive experience when retail reopens there.”

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