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Retail Trade, Australia

Monthly and quarterly estimates of turnover and volumes for retail businesses, including store and online sales.

Reference period
April 2021
Released
3/06/2021

Key statistics

The April 2021 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Rose 1.1% month-on-month.
  • This is unchanged from the Preliminary Retail Trade release. 
  • Rose 25.0% compared with April 2020.
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Turnover at current prices
Apr-2021 ($m)Mar-2021 to Apr-2021 (% change)Apr-2020 to Apr-2021 (% change)
Trendnanana
Seasonally Adjusted31028.21.125.0

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Total retail turnover

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Changes in this issue

To understand more about any changes in this issue, suspension of trend estimates, and COVID-19 in April 2021, please read the survey impacts and changes

Analysis by industry

Food retailing

Food retailing rose 1.4% ($168.3m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.                       

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • rose 1.2% ($121.3m) for Supermarket and grocery stores.

  • rose 3.0% ($37.6m) for Liquor retailing.

  • rose 1.1% ($9.4m) for Other specialised food retailing.    

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Household goods retailing

Household goods retailing rose 1.5% ($82.9m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.           

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • rose 3.0% ($62.6m) for Electrical and electronic goods retailing.

  • rose 1.7% ($26.1m) for Furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods retailing.

  • fell 0.3% (-$5.8m) for Hardware, building and garden supplies retailing.

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Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing rose 1.2% ($29.1m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.               

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • rose 3.1% ($52.6m) for Clothing retailing.

  • fell 2.8% (-$23.5m) for Footwear and other personal accessory retailing.

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Department stores

Department stores fell 6.7% (-$121.8m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.

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Other retailing

Other retailing rose 1.7% ($79.0m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.                 

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • rose 8.3% ($44.5m) for Other recreational goods retailing.

  • rose 12.2% ($24.7m) for Newspaper and book retailing.

  • rose 0.4% ($8.0m) for Other retailing n.e.c..

  • rose 0.1% ($1.9m) for Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry goods retailing.

              
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Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Cafés, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 2.3% ($91.1m) in April, in seasonally adjusted terms.                 

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • rose 4.4% ($77.1m) for Takeaway food services.

  • rose 0.6% ($14.0m) for Cafes, restaurants and catering services.   

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Original estimates for chains and larger retailers, and smaller retailers

  • The original estimate for chains and other larger retailers fell 3.7% in April 2021.
  • The original estimate for smaller retailers fell 3.1% in April 2021.

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Survey impacts and changes

Changes in this issue

There are no revisions to the original estimates.

This issue includes updated online retail turnover estimates for the April 2021 reference month. 

This month also includes updated Quarterly Consumer Sales data, included in the Data Downloads section of this publication. 

The ABS is ceasing the release of the Preliminary Retail Trade (8501.0.55.008) following the release of June 2021 data. A new schedule of releases for Retail Trade Australia (8501.0) is being considered, and will be announced when available.

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in retail activity. In the short term, this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in retail spending that will occur during the Coronavirus pandemic. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for irregular events, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying retail activity.

The retail trend series was therefore suspended from February 2020, and now published only to June 2019. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend in retail.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in April

The World Health Organisation identified COVID-19 as an international health emergency on 30 January 2020.

In March 2020, nationwide regulations were introduced to encourage physical distancing which impacted the ability of businesses to trade as normal. Movement across state borders were also restricted.

Following May 2020, regulations have been implemented on a local basis in response to increased case numbers.

In March 2021, the Greater Brisbane region in Queensland saw restrictions reintroduced on 29 March, which continued until the end of the month and ended on 1 April.

In April 2021,  Perth and some regional areas of Western Australia saw restrictions from 24 April through to 26 April inclusive.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8501.0.

Inquiries

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