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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
January 2021
Released
4/03/2021

Key statistics

The January 2021 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Rose 0.5% month-on-month. 
  • This updates the rise of 0.6% published in the Preliminary Retail Trade release.
  • Australian turnover rose 10.6% compared to January 2020.
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Turnover at current prices
Jan-2021 ($m)Dec-2020 to Jan-2021 (% change)Jan-2020 to Jan-2021 (% change)
Trendnanana
Seasonally Adjusted30512.30.510.6

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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 January, please read the survey impacts and changes

Analysis by industry

Food retailing

Food retailing rose 1.6% ($196.1m) in January, in seasonally adjusted terms.

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:      

  • rose 1.3% ($138.4m) for Supermarket and grocery stores.       
  • rose 2.3% ($30.2m) for Liquor retailing.      
  • rose 3.1% ($27.5m) for Other specialised food retailing.
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Household goods retailing

Household goods retailing rose 0.1% ($4.9m) in January, in seasonally adjusted terms.    

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:        

  • rose 1.0% ($19.5m) for Hardware, building and garden supplies retailing.
  • rose 0.4% ($5.9m) for Furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods retailing.
  • fell 1.0% (-$20.5m) for Electrical and electronic goods retailing.
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Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing fell 3.6% (-$86.3m) in January, in seasonally adjusted terms.    

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:

  • fell 6.1% (-$101.1m) for Clothing retailing.
  • rose 2.0% ($14.8m) for Footwear and other personal accessory retailing.
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Department stores

Department stores fell 0.4% (-$6.4m) in January, in seasonally adjusted terms.

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Other retailing

Other retailing rose 1.4% ($64.4m) in January, in seasonally adjusted terms.        

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:        

  • rose 2.8% ($56.0m) for Other retailing n.e.c..
  • rose 7.2% ($37.5m) for Other recreational goods retailing.
  • fell 1.2% (-$20.6m) for Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry goods retailing. 
  • fell 4.1% (-$8.5m) for Newspaper and book retailing.
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Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services fell 0.8% (-$29.2m) in January, in seasonally adjusted terms.

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:

  • fell 1.2% (-$20.1m) for Takeaway food services.
  • fell 0.4% (-$9.1m) 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 23.4% in January 2021.
  • The original estimate for smaller retailers fell 19.8% in January 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 January 2021 reference month. This issue also includes Survey of Consumer Sales estimates for the December quarter. Data can be found in the Data Downloads section, and the data is explained in the methodology section of this publication.

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.

An annual seasonal review will take place following this release. This will assess seasonal factors over the past year, and may lead to revisions to the seasonally adjusted series from the February 2021 publication. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in January

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.

In July 2020, Victoria saw increased regulations, especially in Melbourne, that remained in place for much of August through to the end of October last year.

Recent changes to restrictions include those introduced to Greater Sydney from 20 December 2020, including restrictions on the number of guests per household, which were progressively eased into January this year. Queensland saw restrictions introduced in Brisbane from 8 January and Western Australia saw restrictions from 31 January. 

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8501.0.

Inquiries

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