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Record breaking July for retailers

Despite the end of financial year sales coming to an end, July continued the upward trend with an overall increase of 8 per cent year on year as seen in the latest numbers from the Australian Retail Index. Some retailers continued their sale period past June 30 this year, contributing to the ongoing growth. 

ARI - July 2017 compared with July 2016
ARI – July 2017 compared with July 2016

Every retail vertical showed an improvement on the same period last year, except for the Furniture & Homewares sector but only by a slight margin. The continued growth was led by the General sector (including pet stores, crafts, electronics and more) at 14 per cent followed closely by the Sporting sector at 9 per cent. 

As expected however, July definitely dropped off significantly for almost all verticals following the June EOFY boost. The Sporting vertical was the only sector to show improvement with a surprisingly stronger month than June at 9 per cent growth. 

ARI - July compared with June 2017
ARI – July 2017 compared with June 2017

Continuing the upward trend without discounting 

Retailers will no doubt like to see this trend continue throughout the rest of the year and into the Christmas season – well known to bring in over 30 per cent of yearly trade. 

However, discounting isn’t sustainable all year through to Christmas. To keep inventory flying out the door, retailers need to ensure other methods are in play like rewarding loyalty and return customers. 

Do you have a customer loyalty program in place? 

It’s important for retailers to retain their customer’s information and reward them for loyalty to their brand or product. As you fly head on into the busy season, are you capturing each new customer’s name and email as a minimum? Are you able to segment your customer database on products purchased and upsell to them via email? Do you have a reward system in place? 

These are some of the systems you can put into place now so that you’re well prepared for monumental returns over the Christmas period and beyond.

Written by Aaron Blackman CEO of Retail Express. Retail data drawn from the Australian Retail Index. 

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