Surge in retail turnover led by clothing and department stores

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has reported a 0.4 per cent surge in Aussie retail turnover in May 2018.

Department stores and clothing led the charge, with rises of 3.9 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively.

The May results cement a second consecutive month of solid sales for the sector after a slow start to the year.

National Retail Association (NRA) CEO Dominique Lamb says the arrival of colder weather has helped department stores and clothing rebound strongly after poor showings in April.

“Retail has now recorded two consecutive months of solid rises in turnover,” she said. “We’re optimistic that it means the sector has turned the corner following a modest start to 2018.

“The April (retail turnover) figures were a relief after sales stalled in the opening months of 2018. But the May results are hopefully a sign that retail is about to kick on and have a successful second half to 2018.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see department stores, as well as clothing, footwear and personal accessories, bounce back in May. This can be put down to the cold weather beginning to arrive after an unusually warm autumn period.

“The NRA expects to see department stores and clothing sales continue to rise in the coming months as Aussies flock to the shops to cash in on winter-shopping bargains.”

Across the state and territories, the highest rises in retail turnover occurred in Tasmania (1.5 per cent) and South Australia (1.4 per cent). Only WA recorded a fall in turnover (0.5 per cent).