Retail sales continue to slow as lockdown impacts take hold
Monday 23 August 2021
Multi-state closures in July impacted retail sales according to SpendingPulse ™ Mastercard, which measures in-store and online retail sales for all payment methods.
Retail sales across the country fell 5.6% in July from the previous month (seasonally adjusted) and are down 6.3% from the same period last year. However, compared to July 2019 (the last year without a pandemic), sales are up 6%.
There were monthly declines in the clothing retail categories (-19.9%), department stores (-5.4%) and food distribution (-1.2%). Household goods were up 0.8% in July from the previous month (seasonally adjusted), but there were year-over-year declines in all retail categories.
Greater Sydney and the surrounding area were subject to stay-at-home orders in July, with Victoria, South Australia, parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory also entering and exiting lockdown in the during the month.
Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said the lockdowns are having a direct impact on retail sales and pandemic pain will continue to be felt over the coming months.
“Delta continues to wreak havoc on businesses and livelihoods, especially for our economic capital Sydney, where a nine-week lockdown is confirmed with no guarantee that restrictions will ease at the end of the month,” Mr. Zahra.
“For Rent” signs are increasingly common on the storefronts of CBD stores in Sydney and Melbourne, where the devastation of the Delta has been more severe and state and federal support has not been enough to stop businesses from stopping. close their doors permanently.
“Lockdowns have a direct impact on retail sales as well as business and consumer confidence, and these impacts can be felt long after restrictions are relaxed, as it takes time for trust and traffic to build. pedestrian are recovering – this is not an immediate return to the way things were.
“Many battle-weary businesses are on the verge of collapsing their emotional and mental health – not just financial hardship. We need to look for ways to reopen businesses with low case counts and high vaccination rates to get out of this situation.
“The information also shows that while consumer confidence has weakened due to lockdowns in various states, the 2-year growth bar has risen. And in states / territories such as Western Australia and the Northern Territory, where blockages are less common, 2-year growth is up 16.2% and 8.9% respectively.
Mastercard SpendingPulse represents overall selling activity in the Mastercard payment network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other forms of payment, such as cash and checks. This is indicative data, representing a percentage rather than the entire Australian spending population.
Mastercard SpendingPulse July 2021
Mastercard SpendingPulse ™ reports national retail sales for all payment types in select markets around the world. Results are based on overall sales activity in the Mastercard payment network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other forms of payment, such as cash and checks. As such, the information in SpendingPulse ™ does not contain, reflect or relate in any way to the actual operational or financial performance of Mastercard, or to the specific data of the payment card issuer.