Latest release

Retail Trade, Australia

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

Reference period
December 2020
Released
5/02/2021
Future releases
  • Next Release 4/03/2021
    Retail Trade, Australia, January 2021
  • Next Release 1/04/2021
    Retail Trade, Australia, February 2021
  • Next Release 10/05/2021
    Retail Trade, Australia, March 2021
  • View all releases

Key statistics

The December 2020 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Fell 4.1% month-on-month.
  • This updates the fall of 4.2% published in the Preliminary Retail Trade release. 
  • Rose 9.6% compared with December 2019.
  • In volume terms, the seasonally adjusted estimate rose 2.5% in the December quarter 2020.
Turnover at current prices
Dec-2020 ($m)Nov-2020 to Dec-2020 (% change)Dec-2019 to Dec-2020 (% change)
Trendnanana
Seasonally Adjusted30368.8-4.19.6

na not available

Turnover in volume terms
December Qtr 2020 ($m)September Qtr 2020 to December Qtr 2020 (% change)December Qtr 2019 to December Qtr 2020 (% change)
Trendnanana
Seasonally Adjusted86933.22.56.4

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 December, please read the survey impacts and changes

Analysis by industry

Food retailing

Food retailing fell 1.7% in December, in seasonally adjusted terms.

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:  

  • fell 1.8% for Supermarket and grocery stores.       
  • fell 1.9% for Other specialised food retailing.           
  • fell 0.3% for Liquor retailing.     
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Household goods retailing

Household goods retailing fell 8.3% in December, in seasonally adjusted terms.       

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:           

  • fell 15.5% for Electrical and electronic goods retailing.        
  • fell 5.0% for Furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods retailing.
  • fell 2.0% for Hardware, building and garden supplies retailing.
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Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing fell 9.4% in December, in seasonally adjusted terms.    

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:      

  • fell 9.3% for Clothing retailing.
  • fell 9.7% for Footwear and other personal accessory retailing.      
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Department stores

Department stores fell 12.5% in December, in seasonally adjusted terms.    

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Other retailing

Other retailing fell 4.4% in December, in seasonally adjusted terms.

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:        

  • fell 5.8% for Other retailing n.e.c..     
  • fell 19.2% for Other recreational goods retailing.       
  • fell 1.2% for Newspaper and book retailing.          
  • rose 2.4% for Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry goods retailing. 
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Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 3.2% in December, in seasonally adjusted terms.       

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:    

  • rose 4.0% for Cafes, restaurants and catering services.       
  • rose 2.2% for Takeaway food services.
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Original estimates for chains and larger retailers, and smaller retailers

  • The original estimate for chains and other larger retailers rose 18.5% in December 2020.
  • The original estimate for smaller retailers rose 14.3% in December 2020.

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 December 2020 reference month. 

This month also includes updated per capita data, included in the Data Downloads 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. A review of seasonal adjustment and trend will be completed following the release of the January 2021 publication. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend in retail.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in December

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

In March, nationwide regulations were introduced to encourage social 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.

South Australia saw restrictions introduced and removed within November. Increased restrictions were introduced within Greater Sydney from 20 December, including restrictions on the number of guests per household. Queensland saw restrictions introduced in Brisbane from 8 January 2021. 

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8501.0.

Inquiries

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