Latest release

Retail Trade, Australia

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

Reference period
July 2021
Released
27/08/2021
Future Releases
  • Next Release 28/09/2021
    Retail Trade, Australia, August 2021
  • Next Release 5/10/2021
    Retail Trade, Australia, August 2021
  • Next Release 29/10/2021
    Retail Trade, Australia, September 2021
  • View all releases

Key statistics

The July 2021 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Fell 2.7% month-on-month.
  • Fell 3.1% compared with July 2020.

Release Schedule for Retail Trade, Australia

The Retail Trade, Australia publication has moved to a new release schedule to better accommodate data users’ needs following the discontinuation of Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary.

An additional information release on 3 September 2021 has seen the inclusion of more detailed results for the July 2021 reference period. Additional timeseries spreadsheets have been published, including; state by industry results, state by industry sub-group results, quarterly turnover volumes, and online sales.

To understand more about any changes to the release schedule, as well as changes in this issue, suspension of trend estimates, and COVID-19 in July 2021, please read the survey impacts and changes.

Download
Turnover at current prices
Jul-2021 ($m)Jun-2021 to Jul-2021 (% change)Jul-2020 to Jul-2021 (% change)
Trendnanana
Seasonally Adjusted29778.6-2.7-3.1

na not available

Total retail turnover

Download
Download
Download
Download

Analysis by industry

Food retailing

Food retailing rose 2.3% ($296.9m) in July, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Download

Household goods retailing

Household goods retailing fell 2.2% (-$123.1m) in July, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Download

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing fell 15.4% (-$354.8m) in July, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Download

Department stores

Department stores fell 11.4% (-$178.3m) in July, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Download

Other retailing

Other retailing rose 0.6% ($26.1m) in July, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Download

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services fell 12.3% (-$478.7m) in July, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Download

Online retailing

Total online sales were $3,724.7m in July 2021, in seasonally adjusted terms. This was the highest level of monthly online sales in the history of this series. This month's $603.3m (19.3%) rise in seasonally adjusted sales was the second largest rise in this series in dollar terms, following April 2020.

Download

In July 2021, Food online sales were $993.9m, and Non-Food online sales were $2,730.7m, in seasonally adjusted terms. Food sales rose $112.7m (12.8%) in July 2021, the largest increase in dollar terms since the beginning of the timeseries. Non-Food sales rose $490.5m (21.9%) in July, the second largest increase in dollar terms recorded since the beginning of the timeseries, following April 2020.

Download

In July 2021, in original terms, the proportion of online sales for Food retailing was 6.4%, the largest proportion recorded over the history of this series. The proportion of online sales for Non-Food retailing was 20.4%. This was the second largest proportion recorded over the history of this series, following April 2020 (20.5%).

In July 2021, the proportion of online sales for total retailing was 12.6%. This was the largest proportion of online sales for total retailing since data has been collected, eclipsing the previous record of 11.1% recorded in April 2020.

Download

Additional notes regarding the online sales series can be found in the Methodology.

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Survey impacts and changes

The revised release schedule for Retail Trade, Australia

The ABS ceased the publication of Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary (8501.0.55.008) following the June 2021 reference period.  Retail Trade, Australia (8501.0) has moved to a new release schedule to better accommodate data users’ needs.

Key statistics from Retail Trade, Australia are now released 20 working days following the end of the reference period, with the full suite of statistics to be made available in an “Additional Information” release four business days later. 

This replaces the former release schedule where all time series spreadsheets were released approximately 24 working days following the end of the reference period.

The following highlights the timing and availability of time series spreadsheets from the July 2021 reference period onwards:

Download
Table title
ReleaseTimingTablesContent
Main Release (i.e. key statistics)20 working days following the end of the reference period1 - 4 Monthly National Turnover
   Monthly Industry Turnover
   Monthly State Turnover
Additional Tables4 working days following the main release5 - 23Monthly State by Industry Turnover
   Monthly Sub-Group Turnover
   Monthly State by Sub-Group Turnover
   Quarterly Volumes and other quarterly statistics
   Online Sales

 

There are no changes to the availability of data for this publication.  Time series spreadsheet numbering and names, as well as Series IDs remain the same as previously published.

Both releases each month will be based on the same source data, with no additional data collection activity occurring between these times.

The ABS will continue to quality assure data between the release of the key statistics and the additional tables, with revisions to the key statistics anticipated to be rare.

Dates for future releases are available under ‘Future releases’ from the top of this page. There are two advertised dates for each reference period. The earliest date refers to the release of Tables 1 through to 4. The later date indicates when the additional tables (5 through to 23) will be made available.

Changes in this issue

There are no revisions to the original estimates.

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 July

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.

In May 2021, Victoria was under lockdown restrictions from 28 May which remained in place until June.

In June 2021, there were restrictions across multiple states and territories, including:

  • Victoria - restrictions introduced in May remained in place for the first three days of June in regional Victoria, and the first ten days of the month in Melbourne. Restrictions such as mask wearing in all public indoor settings (such as retail and workplaces), remained in place for the rest of June.
  • New South Wales - stay-at-home orders were introduced across Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong from 26 June. Some Eastern Sydney local government areas saw restrictions introduced a day earlier than the rest of Greater Sydney.
  • Northern Territory - lockdown restrictions were introduced from 1pm, 27 June.  This initially applied to Darwin and surrounds, however, restrictions were expanded to Alice Springs on the last day of the month. Restrictions remained in effect until early July.
  • Western Australia - lockdown restrictions for Perth and surrounds were introduced 29 June, and remained in effect until early July.
  • Queensland - lockdown restrictions for South-East Queensland and Townsville were introduced at 6pm, 29 June, remaining in place until early July.

In July 2021, restrictions continued to impact multiple states and territories, including:

  • New South Wales - Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong remained under stay-at-home orders for the entire month. Non-essential retail was closed from 18 July onwards.
  • Northern Territory - restrictions introduced in June remained in effect until 2 July.
  • Western Australia - restrictions introduced in June remained in effect until 2 July.
  • Queensland - restrictions introduced in June remained in effect until 3 July, although some restrictions for non-essential retail continued past this date. The state re-entered lockdown at 4pm on the last day of the month.
  • Victoria - lockdown restrictions were introduced at 11:59pm, 15 July and were in place until 11:59pm 27 July.  Some restrictions from the prior month, such as mask wearing in workplaces and offices, had been eased from 9 July until 15 July.
  • South Australia - lockdown restrictions were in place from 6pm, 20 July through to 6pm, 27 July.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8501.0.

Inquiries

For inquiries about these and related statistics, contact the Customer Assistance Service via the ABS website Contact Us page. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

Post release changes

3/09/2021 - As advertised in the main release of this publication on 27 August 2021, the time series spreadsheets for tables 5 through to 23 are now available under the Data Downloads section. This includes July results for: State by Industry Subgroup, Completely Enumerated (large) and Sample (small) businesses, and Online Retail Turnover.  The June quarter result for Quarterly Consumer Sales (Tables 17 and 18) is now also available. 

In addition, an online retailing section has been added to this publication, which shows the most up-to-date online retail sales, with three graphs included.