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RETAILING IN THE '90s
21.7 RETAIL INDUSTRY - 1991-92 and 1998-99
The retail sector is dominated by businesses located in the eastern seaboard States (table 21.8), with three-quarters of retail industry employment, wages and salaries and income being accounted for by businesses in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. In 1998-99 New South Wales retailers accounted for the largest share, with 33% of the industry's employment, wages and salaries and income. In terms of total income, the percentage contributions for the remaining States and Territories in descending order were Victoria (23%), Queensland (18%), Western Australia (10%), South Australia (7%), Tasmania (4%), the Australian Capital Territory (2%) and the Northern Territory (1.5%). This order was also maintained for employment and wages and salaries. The distribution of these statistics is consistent with the estimated resident populations of the States and Territories at June 1999.
21.8 RETAIL INDUSTRY, By State - 1998-99
In 1998-99 the supermarkets and grocery stores industry generated the highest retail sales in the retail sector ($38.3b) which was 26% of the total retail sales. Specialised food retailing, furniture, houseware and appliance retailing, motor vehicle retailing and motor vehicle services were the next highest, each contributing around 11% to total retail sales (table 21.9).
21.9 RETAIL SALES, By Industry Group - 1998-99
Australians spent $146,229m on retail purchases during 1998-99. Food and groceries accounted for more than a third of these purchases, with takeaway food the highest single contributor to sales of food and groceries. The broad retail commodity grouping food and groceries accounted for $51,542m, or 35% of the total, on average about $2,700 per head of population. The largest selling food and grocery items were takeaway food ($7,532m); fresh fruit and vegetables ($5,181m); cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products ($4,719m); and bread, cakes, pastries and biscuits ($3,919m). The next largest commodity groupings were personal and other goods, on which Australians spent $31,591m (22%), and motor vehicles and associated goods $30,111m (21%).
Information relating to gross margins for individual commodities is available for the first time (the gross margin is the difference between the price at which a business purchases a good and the price for which it is sold, expressed as a percentage of the selling price). The individual commodities with the highest gross margins were jewellery and silverware, a gross margin of 49%, and womens' and girls' clothing at 46%. The individual commodities with the lowest gross margins were new cars and passenger vans at 5%, and petrol, diesel and distillate with a 7% gross margin (table 21.10).
21.10 INCOME AND GROSS MARGIN, By Selected Commodity Item - 1998-99