Food retail faces tougher times in Australia

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 20th April 2015
Food retail faces tougher times in Australia
Food retail faces tougher times in Australia

Food retail in Australia is among the better-performing retail sectors contributing to only a modest rise is sales figures in February 2015.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the seasonally adjusted rise (0.7 percent increase) in monthly retail trade figures (month-on-month) reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) followed a 0.4 percent rise in January 2015. Australia’s $265 billion retail sector employs over 1.2 million people.

The food retail sector saw a 1.2 per cent rise in February 2015. Foodservice, however, saw a 0.4 per cent decrease.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the sales figures “February is often the time when consumers ‘get back to reality’ after their Christmas holidays and start looking at their budgets for the year ahead.”

“There may have been a slight drop in discretionary spending, impacting a number of sectors including clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.2 per cent), cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.4 per cent) and department stores (-3.2 per cent),” Mr Zimmerman said      

“Although some sectors experienced sluggish sales, Valentine’s Day was certainly a welcome holiday mid-February for many retailers,” Mr Zimmerman said. “Low petrol prices are also likely to have contributed to consumer spending patterns,” he said.

Mr Zimmerman said the last of summer promotions across the country also resulted in a boost for food retail and other retail sectors, including the household goods sector, which enjoyed a 1.8 percent increase month on month.

Monthly retail growth (January 2015 – February 2015 seasonally adjusted)

By sector

  • Food retailing (1.2 per cent)
  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (-0.4 per cent)
  • Household goods retailing (1.8 per cent), Other retailing (1.3 per cent)
  • Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (-0.2 per cent)
  • Department stores (-3.2 per cent)
  • Total sales (0.7 per cent)                 

By State/Territory

  • Northern Territory (2.3 per cent)
  • South Australia (1.7 per cent)
  • Australian Capital Territory (1.6 per cent)
  • Victoria (0.8 per cent)
  • Tasmania (0.7 per cent)
  • Western Australia (0.7 per cent)
  • New South Wales (0.7 per cent)
  • Queensland (0.2 per cent)

Year-on-year retail growth (February 2014 – February 2015 seasonally adjusted)

  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (5.1 per cent)
  • Food retailing (4.1 per cent), Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.3 per cent)
  • Household goods retailing (9.2 per cent)
  • Other retailing (1.3 per cent)
  • Department stores (-0.6 per cent)
  • Total sales (4.3 per cent).

By State/Territory

  • New South Wales (5.6 per cent)
  • South Australia (5.1 per cent)
  • Tasmania (4.6 per cent)
  • Victoria (4.4 per cent)
  • Australian Capital Territory (4.3 per cent)
  • Western Australia (3.0 per cent)
  • Queensland (2.7 per cent)
  • Northern Territory (0.7 per cent)
  • Total sales (4.3 per cent)