Retail Trade, Australia

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

Reference period
September 2022

Key statistics

The September 2022 seasonally adjusted estimate: 

  • Rose 0.6% month-on-month.
  • Rose 17.9% compared with September 2021.
  • In volume terms, the seasonally adjusted estimate rose 0.2% in the September quarter 2022. 

An additional information release on 4 November 2022 has seen the inclusion of more detailed results for the September 2022 reference period. Additional timeseries spreadsheets have been published, including; state by industry results, state by industry sub-group results, September quarter 2022 turnover volumes, and online sales. 

To understand more about changes in this issue, suspension of trend estimates, and COVID-19 in September 2022, please read the survey impacts and changes.

Turnover at current prices
Sep-2022 ($m)Aug-2022 to Sep-2022 (% change)Sep-2021 to Sep-2022 (% change)
Seasonally adjusted35,096.30.617.9

na not available

Turnover in volume terms
September Qtr 2022 ($m)June Qtr 2022 to September Qtr 2022 (% change)September Qtr 2021 to September Qtr 2022 (% change)
Seasonally adjusted97,

Total retail turnover

Analysis by industry

Food retailing

Food retailing rose 1.0% ($134.5m) in September, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Household goods retailing

Household goods retailing fell 0.8% (-$47.0m) in September, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing

Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing rose 2.0% ($58.1m) in September, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Department stores

Department stores fell 0.4% (-$8.0m) in September, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Other retailing

Other retailing rose 0.2% ($11.9m) in September, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 1.3% ($65.2m) in September, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Online retailing

Total online retailing sales were $3,526.4m in September 2022, in seasonally adjusted terms.

Seasonally adjusted online sales fell 0.4 per cent (-$15.2m), following a fall of 2.0 per cent (-$71.2m) in August 2022.

Seasonally adjusted through-the-year sales are down 16.9 per cent (-$716.6m) as online sales were boosted significantly in September 2021, due to the impacts of the Delta outbreak lockdown, when online sales reached record levels. Whilst online sales are down through-the-year, they continue to remain above pre-Delta levels.

In September 2022, Food online sales were $980.0m, and Non-Food online sales were $2,546.4m, in seasonally adjusted terms. There were falls in both Non-Food sales, down 0.1 per cent (-$1.7m), and Food sales, down 1.4 per cent (-$13.5m). Despite the falls, both categories remain above the level average of prior to the Delta outbreak.

In original terms, the proportion of online sales for non-Food retailing to total non-Food retailing fell to 16.1 per cent from 16.4 per cent. The proportion for online Food retailing to total Food retailing fell from to 5.7 per cent from 5.8 per cent.

In original terms, the proportion of online sales to total retailing fell to 10.5 per cent from 10.7 per cent.

The average monthly proportion of online sales to total retailing for 2022 remains at 10.6 per cent which is below the peak levels seen during the Delta lockdown in September 2021 (15.3 per cent), however is still significantly above the pre-Covid level in September 2019 of 6.6 per cent.

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

Data downloads

Tables 5 through to 23 have been made available on 4 November 2022. This includes September quarterly retail turnover contained in Tables 5 through to 10. Tables 1 to 4 remain unchanged from their release on 31 October 2022. 

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data Explorer datasets

The data available in Data Explorer is similar to ABS.Stat but with a new interface and added functionality.
For more information about Data Explorer and to see what's changed, see the Data Explorer user guide.

Caution: Data in Data Explorer is currently released after the 11:30am release on the ABS website. Please check the reference period when using Data Explorer.

Retail Trade, Key Statistics - Monthly retail trade estimates for Australian businesses classified by industry group, or by state and territory.

Retail Trade  - Monthly and quarterly retail trade turnover estimates for Australian businesses classified by industry group, sub group, and by state and territory.

Survey impacts and changes

The release schedule for Retail Trade, Australia

Following the June 2021 reference period,  Retail Trade, Australia (8501.0) moved to the following 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. 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.

Timing and availability of time series spreadsheets:

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 of the monthly releases will be based on the same source data. No additional data collection activity will occur between these times.

The ABS will continue to quality assure data between both releases. 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

This issue includes updated quarterly measures of total retail turnover per capita. 

The original estimates for the online series have been revised for the August 2022 reference month as a result of an amendment to source data following updated information from survey respondents. 

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in retail activity. During the Coronavirus pandemic, this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in retail spending that will occur. 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. It is 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 September

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 were implemented on a local state and territory basis in response to increased case numbers. In June 2020, Victoria re-introduced restrictions and lockdown measures which extended until October 2020.

Throughout 2021, a number of wide-ranging COVID-19 safety measures and lockdown restrictions were in place across Australia. Most notably there were extended lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory from June 2021 to October 2021. For a detailed breakdown of restrictions throughout 2021, please refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in December in Survey impacts and changes section of the December 2021 release.

For a detailed breakdown of restrictions throughout 2022, please refer to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in May in Survey impacts and changes section of the May 2022 release and follow monthly links.

Since May 2022, there have been no major changes to existing COVID-19 safety measures across the states and territories impacting on Retail Trade.

Differences between Retail Trade and New Experimental Economic Indicators

Monthly Business Turnover Indicator

The ABS first released the Monthly Business Turnover Indicator on Friday 15 October 2021. The first in a series of new monthly economic indicators which includes an indicator for Retail Trade.

This experimental indicator is derived from Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Business Activity Statements (BAS) turnover data from monthly BAS remitters. This differs from Retail Trade, Australia in terms of scope and coverage. Monthly BAS reporting for the Monthly Business Turnover Indicator covers businesses with GST annual turnover of $20 million or more and a proportion of smaller businesses that report monthly on a voluntary basis. The turnover estimates in Retail Trade, Australia are compiled from the monthly Retail Business Survey. About 700 'large' businesses are included in the survey every month, while a sample of about 2,700 'smaller' businesses is selected. The 'large' business' contribution of approximately 69% of the total estimate ensures a highly reliable Australian total turnover estimate.

Retail Trade for the Monthly Business Turnover Indicator is aligned strictly to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006. This includes Fuel and motor vehicle retailing but excludes Cafes, restaurants and takeaways. Retail Trade, Australia does include Cafes, restaurants and takeaways, but does not include Fuel and motor vehicle retailing.

For further information see Monthly Business Turnover Indicator, Methodology.

Monthly Household Spending Indicator

The ABS first released the Monthly Household Spending Indicator on Tuesday 22 February 2022.

The experimental Monthly Household Spending Indicator is derived using aggregated, de-identified banks transactions data from some of Australia’s banking and financial institutions.

The ABS transforms the banks transactions data in order to derive the Monthly Household Spending Indicator. As this data is not designed for statistical purposes, its scope varies from Australian National Accounts concept of household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) and the Retail Trade turnover estimates for retail businesses.

The primary difference between the Retail Trade Survey and the household spending indicator is scope. The Retail Trade Survey focuses on measuring turnover, from sole traders and businesses across the Retail industry that predominantly sell to households. The Household spending indicator is recorded at the point of transaction on goods and services across all relevant industries, not just retail, to track a broader range of consumer spending.

For more information on how the Retail Trade Survey and new experimental monthly household spending indicator differ please see Comparison with Retail Trade and Monthly Household Spending Indicator, Methodology.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8501.0.


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Post release changes

04/11/2022 - As advertised in the main release of this publication on 31 October 2022, the time series spreadsheets for tables 5 through to 23 are now available under the Data Downloads section. This includes:

  • September monthly results for State by Industry Subgroup, Completely Enumerated (large) and Sample (small) businesses, and Online Retail Turnover. 
  • September quarter 2022 results, available in tables 5 through to 10. 

In addition, September quarter results and an online retailing section has been added to this publication, which shows the most-up-to-date online retail sales.

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