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Apparel retailers still facing difficulty but 'Santa' is on the way…
Nov '11
Peak retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said the moderate month on month boost of 0.4 percent reported in today's ABS September trade figures would be welcome news for retailers, but cause for serious concern remained as year on year figures showed declines across key categories.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said it was the third month in a row the retail sector has seen modest monthly growth but clothing retailers and department stores haven't reaped the benefits of this small boost as they continue to struggle with sales well below the same time last year.

“Categories which would traditionally see a boost at this time of year due to the change of season are in significant year on year decline, including clothing and footwear (-8.1%) and department stores (-3.8%)."

“September's school holiday period could be one reason for slight month on month boost in trade for cafes and restaurants. However, this is a further blow for the clothing and department store category given they would usually expect customers to be purchasing items for their holiday and leisure time."

“When October figures are released retailers will be hoping for a boost in trade as this is usually when outfits and accessories are purchased for the spring racing season."

“Retailers are now looking ahead to the festive season trading period and the recent interest rate cut from the RBA has given the industry a glimmer of hope that Santa will still be coming this Christmas."

“A rate cut in December would hopefully seal the deal for retailers as they go into their most crucial time of year for trading, and bring customers through the doors as their budgets allow them to indulge in the gift giving spirit of Christmas,” Zimmerman said.

MONTHLY RETAIL GROWTH (August 2011 – September 2011) Household goods retailing (1%), Food retailing (0.2%), Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services (0.9%), Other retailing (0.3%), Department stores (0.1%) and Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (0.1%). Total sales (0.4%)

New South Wales (0.6%), Queensland (0.5%), South Australia (1.0%), the Australian Capital Territory (1.7%), Tasmania (0.8%), Western Australia (0.1%) and the Northern Territory (1.0%), Victoria (0.0%)

YEAR-ON-YEAR RETAIL GROWTH (September 2010- September 2011) Clothing, footwear & personal accessory retailing (-8.1%), department stores (-3.8%), cafes, restaurants & takeaways (-0.8%), other retailing (5.2%), food retailing (5.4%) and household goods retailing (3%), Total sales (2.3%).

New South Wales (0.8%), Queensland (3.4%), Western Australia (8%), Victoria (1.7%), South Australia (-0.1%), Tasmania (1.8%), Australian Capital Territory (1.7%), Northern Territory (2.5%).

For over 100 years, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body in Australia's $240 billion retail sector which employs over 1.2 million people.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA)

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