More sales joy for retailers

Shopping centreAustralian retail sales figures have continued their upwards trajectory in January 2014, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Australian retail turnover rose 6.2 per cent in January 2014, compared to January 2013.

The result comes off the back of 5.7 per cent year on year growth in December.

Month on month growth – January 2014 versus December 2013 – rose 1.2 per cent.

Total retail sales for January 2014 were $22.9 billion.

The state with the highest growth in January was the Northern Territory at 3.3 per cent, followed by NSW, 2.1 per cent; Tasmania, 1.8 per cent; Queensland, 1.2 per cent; and South Australia, 0.6 per cent.

Falls in turnover were had by  the ACT with a 1.9 per cent drop, and Western Australia, which fell 0.3 per cent.

Category growth

Department stores won the day in terms of January sales growth, with  a 2.6 per cent spike in turnover for the month.

Rises were also seen in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services of two per cent; other retailing, 1.9 per cent; household goods retailing, 1.5 per cent; clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing, 1.1 per cent; and food retailing 0.4 per cent.

Despite the positive results, National Retail Association (NRA) CEO, Trevor Evans, warns that while the headline results are encouraging, growth remained fragile with large variations in the performance of various sectors and around the country.

“There’s no doubt this is a pleasing result for retailers,” Evans said. “It continues a run of steady growth that is now unbroken since August last year.

“It is important to understand that this growth is off a low base and not all retailers are seeing this growth. Our members report to us that performance is patchy from sector to sector and across different parts of the country,” he said.

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