Online Shopping the Standout in December Retail Figures

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

While the final retail figures for November show turnover increased by 7.1% compared to first estimate in December of a 7% rise, another stunning performance by the online sector stood out.

Retail sales totalled $31.654 billion in November, compared with $29.552 billion in October and $2.780 billion in November 2019.

Online sales made up 11% of total retail turnover of $31.541 billion in November 2020, compared to 10.4% in October 2020 when sales totalled $29.55 billion.

In November 2019, online retail turnover accounted for 7.2% to total retail sales of $27.8 billion for that month.

November’s online retail sales totalled $3.48 billion, up nearly $500 million from October’s $3.07 billion.

But November’s sales were 74% or more than $1.4 billion above the $2 billion figures for November 2019.

That was nearly half the $3.851 billion rise in total retail sales over the year.

Australian Bureau of Statistics’s final November retail sales report on Monday said the retail spending surged from the 1.4% rise in October, as stores in Melbourne traded normally for the first time in months and the pre-Christmas sales boost appeared.

As reported in last month’s first estimate, Victoria led the surge with a 22.4% gain as Melbourne retail stores were able to trade for a full month in November.

Excluding Victoria, retail turnover rose 2.6% for November.

Higher sales of new gaming consoles and new iPhones helped boost household goods and other retailing (after appearing in the import data for November in last week’s trade report from the ABS) .

The Black Friday sales promotion also dragged forward sales with online doing well.

Sales in the year to November were up a strong 13.3% in November because of the resumption of normal trading in Victoria, from the 7.1% rise in the year to October.


About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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