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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
May 2021
Released
5/07/2021

Key statistics

The May 2021 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Rose 0.4% month-on-month.
  • This updates the 0.1% rise from the Preliminary Retail Trade release. 
  • Rose 7.7% compared with May 2020.
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Turnover at current prices
May-2021 ($m)Apr-2021 to May-2021 (% change)May-2020 to May-2021 (% change)
Trendnanana
Seasonally Adjusted31158.30.47.7

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Upcoming changes to Retail Trade, Australia

The Retail Trade, Australia publication will be moving to a new release schedule to better accommodate data users’ needs following the discontinuation of Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary next month.

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

Total retail turnover

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Analysis by industry

Food retailing

Food retailing rose 1.1% ($141.4m) in May, in seasonally adjusted terms.                   

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • rose 1.9% ($188.8m) for Supermarket and grocery stores.

  • fell 2.0% (-$25.1m) for Liquor retailing.

  • fell 2.5% (-$22.3m) for Other specialised food retailing.

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Household goods retailing

Household goods retailing fell 1.1% (-$59.8m) in May, in seasonally adjusted terms.       

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • fell 2.4% (-$36.4m) for Furniture, floor coverings, houseware and textile goods retailing.      

  • fell 1.0% (-$21.8m) for Electrical and electronic goods retailing.

  • fell 0.1% (-$1.7m) for Hardware, building and garden supplies retailing.  

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Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing was relatively unchanged 0.0% (-$0.7m) in May, in seasonally adjusted terms.               

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • fell 0.4% (-$7.3m) for Clothing retailing.

  • rose 0.8% ($6.6m) for Footwear and other personal accessory retailing.

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Department stores

Department stores fell 0.7% (-$11.3m) in May, in seasonally adjusted terms.

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Other retailing

Other retailing rose 0.7% ($30.7m) in May, in seasonally adjusted terms.                 

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • rose 1.3% ($26.3m) for Other retailing n.e.c..                 

  • rose 0.8% ($15.0m) for Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry goods retailing.                        

  • rose 0.2% ($1.0m) for Other recreational goods retailing.                            

  • fell 5.1% (-$11.6m) for Newspaper and book retailing.                 

              
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Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Café, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 0.7% ($29.8m) in May, in seasonally adjusted terms.               

By industry subgroup, the seasonally adjusted estimate:                         

  • rose 1.8% ($41.1m) for Cafes, restaurants and catering services.                

  • fell 0.6% (-$11.3m) 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 3.7% in May 2021.
  • The original estimate for smaller retailers rose 2.1% in May 2021.

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Survey impacts and changes

Upcoming changes to the Retail Trade, Australia release schedule

The ABS is ceasing the publication of Retail Trade, Australia, Preliminary (8501.0.55.008) following the release of data for the June 2021 reference period.  Retail Trade, Australia (8501.0) will therefore move to a new release schedule to better accommodate data users’ needs.

From the July 2021 reference period onwards, key statistics from Retail Trade, Australia will be 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 current release schedule where all time series spreadsheets are 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:
 

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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-Industry Turnover
   Monthly State by Sub-Industry Turnover
   Quarterly Volumes and other quarterly statistics
   Online Sales

 

Under the new release schedule there will be no change 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 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.

Please note, that for the next edition of Retail Trade, Australia (June 2021) there is no change to the advertised release date.

Dates for future releases are available under ‘Future releases’ from the top of this page.

 

Changes in this issue

There are no revisions to the original estimates.

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

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 May

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 through to 10 June. The first week of restrictions applied to all of Victoria, with regional Victoria seeing a relaxation in restrictions thereafter. 

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.