Retail sales had the largest monthly fall for the year. Image – Canva
  • New retail trade figures revealed a 2.7% fall in sales in July
  • This figure is the largest fall for the year
  • Tasmania displayed the strongest growth as NSW saw the greatest decline

Retail sales fell 2.7% in July, marking the largest monthly fall in 2021, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

July’s retail sales figures have surpassed the previous largest fall of a 1.8% decline in June, following a 0.4% rise in May.

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys, attributed the decline to the impact of ongoing Covid related restrictions.

“Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in many parts of Australia continued to impact retail trade in July, with many non-essential retail businesses closing their physical stores.

Ben James, Director of Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys

The area of clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing were most severely impacted in July, with a 15.4% decline. Cafes, restaurants and food services took a hit with a 12.3% drop in sales. Similarly, department stores saw sales fall 11.4%.

The most impacted retail areas were those which have seen the most physical store closures.

State by State

Varying degrees of retail growth and decline was seen across the states and territories.

Unsurprisingly, New South Wales was the greatest source of Australia’s decline in retail sales.

“In particular, the first full month of lockdown in New South Wales, following the Delta outbreak in June, saw retail turnover in the state fall 8.9%. This was the largest fall of any state and territory since August 2020,” said Mr James.

Monthly Retail Turnover by State and Territory
Source -Retail Trade figures, ABS


South Australia and Queensland saw retail sales fall 3.3% and 0.9% respectively.

Victoria has shown strong growth (1.3%) given the restrictions in the state during July. The strongest growth was seen in Tasmania where retail sales increased 2.7% during the month.

Michael Ferguson, Tasmania’s Minister for Finance, said the figures showed that Tasmania’s economy continues to charge ahead.

“These fantastic results are testament to Tasmania’s high business confidence, with Tasmanians backing local businesses and having the confidence to spend when out and about,” he said.

You May Also Like

Vicinity Centres value down $570M following six-month decline

Retail property posts lower valuation following tough pandemic lockdowns…

Origin Markets set to open Spring 2021

A new market featuring more than 100 of South-West Australia’s best producers and artisans is set to open this Spring in Busselton…

COVID lockdown hits Perth restaurants and cafes

Are food delivery services killing F&B profitability?

Online retail sales slowed towards end of 2020: NAB

Online retail soared 44% in 2020, but its growth slowed by year end