The National Retail Association (NRA) has said that today’s (November 4 2019) Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures for September 2019 demonstrate that more still needs to be done to lift the sector out of its sales slumber.
Despite cuts to income taxes and the RBA dropping interest rates to record levels, turnover for the first month of Spring rose by a modest 0.2 per cent, seasonally adjusted.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that while the figures are not disastrous, it was expected that sales would have been higher for the month.
“Measures such as tax cuts and reductions to interest rates have already been implemented, but clearly we’re still yet to see retail sales rebound like we would have hoped,” Ms Lamb said.
“Options that should be explored to stimulate sales include fast-tracking tax cuts due to come into effect in the coming years, government spending and even a further cut by the RBA to the cash rate.
“In the meantime, the NRA certainly urges consumers to not shy away from spending any spare change they have at the shops. In particular, it’s important to back local small businesses who really find it challenging when economic growth stalls.”
Ms Lamb said that with the sector about to enter the busy Christmas period, shoppers should be on the lookout for bargain sales events.
“Moving forward we have several big sales events such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday coming up this month (November 2019), and of course we’re about to enter the busy Christmas trade period,” Ms Lamb said.
“Shoppers should keep an eye out for bargain sales as retailers try to entice customers to open their wallets.
“Christmas is an important time of the year for retail and many smaller operators rely on strong sales in the festive season to sustain their business throughout quieter parts of the year. A poor Christmas period for retail will have a knock-on effect to other parts of the economy, so we encourage shoppers to indulge in some retail therapy between now and the end of the year.”