Retail plunges in NSW as lockdowns cut spending


Friday, August 27, 2021

The harsh impacts of state-imposed closures in July were exposed in the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics retail figures, with sales down 2.7% from the previous month and down by 3.1% compared to the same period last year.

Clothing, shoes and personal accessories were the most affected retail category, down 15.4% in July from the previous month, followed by cafes, restaurants and take-out (down 12.3% %), department stores (down 11.4%) and household goods (down 2.2%. Food retailing, which includes supermarkets and grocery stores, increased 2.3%. There were year-over-year declines in these retail categories, with the exception of food retailing which recorded a modest increase.

Unsurprisingly, the largest drop in non-state and territory retailing was recorded in New South Wales, with sales down 8.9% in July from the previous month, followed by Australia- South (down 3.3%) and Queensland (down 0.9%).

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 during the month.

Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said the lockdowns are taking a heavy toll on small businesses in particular, and the impacts are expected to be felt for many months to come.

“Businesses have been reeling from the devastation of the Delta and today’s figures confirm the severity of the lockdowns and their impact on retail spending,” Zahra said.

“Consumer and business confidence has been shattered by recent epidemics in several states, and state and federal support has simply not been enough to keep a number of businesses from shutting down permanently.

‘The lockdowns are also having an impact on employment, with salaried jobs declining by almost 9% in Greater Sydney since the introduction of stay-at-home orders in late June, and a significant proportion of these losses were in the hospitality industry. retail.

“Vaccinations are our ticket to freedom and we need to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible to reach the 70% and 80% thresholds that will trigger a reopening of businesses and society.

“We are delighted to see Pfizer approved for all Australians aged 12 and over, which provides access to our younger retail staff who were not previously eligible. “

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