Retail sales rose 1.4 per cent in October

4 December 2020

Australian retail turnover rose 1.4 per cent in October 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.  

This updates the preliminary result of 1.6 per cent, and follows a fall of 1.1 per cent in September 2020. 

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, said: “The reopening of physical stores in Victoria led to national rises for cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (5.4 per cent), clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (6.8 per cent), other retailing (2.0 per cent), and department stores (4.5 per cent).”

Household goods retailing (-1.0 per cent) recorded a fall in October but continued to record high levels of turnover compared to a year ago. 

Victoria (5.1 per cent) led state and territory rises, and there were also rises for New South Wales (0.7 per cent), Western Australia (1.0 per cent), and South Australia (0.6 per cent) in October 2020. Queensland (-0.5 per cent), Tasmania (-1.4 per cent), the Northern Territory (-0.6 per cent) fell, while the Australian Capital Territory (-0.1 per cent) was relatively unchanged. 

At the national level, turnover rose 7.1 per cent compared to October 2019. 

Online sales made up 10.4 per cent of total retail turnover in October 2020, compared to 10.6 per cent in September 2020. In October 2019, online retail turnover contributed 6.6 per cent to total retail. 

Over time, the split between Pure-play and Multi-channel remained stable, with Pure-play online retailers averaging 38.3% of total online sales. 

In October 2020, Pure-play retailers made up 32.3% of online sales and 3.3% of total sales. Online sales for multi-channel retailers made up 7.0% of total retail sales. 

The total online series rose 0.2% in seasonally adjusted month-on-month terms in October 2020, following a fall of 1.6% in September, and a rise of 5.8% in August 2020.