Retail figures drop in wake of Federal leadership change

Any sign of improved retail spending under new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has faded, according to data from the Australian Retail Index (ARI).

The Australian Retail Index, created by BDO and Retail Express, draws on sales figures from thousands of retailers across the country.

 Australian Retail Index

BDO National Retail Lead Partner Simon Scalzo said while figures remained steady immediately after the leadership change, consumers continued to be conservative with their spending.

“After Mother’s Day, which was the week prior to the change, we saw sales drop off quite sharply which was then followed by a slight increase of about one percent,” Mr Scalzo said.

“In the following three weeks we then saw decreases by 1.7 and 1.6 per cent, followed by the biggest decline of 5.3 per cent seen in the week ending October 12, compared to the preceding week.

“With figures decreasing despite the change in Federal Leadership, retailers will need to be very focused to ensure they maximise sales during the Christmas rush.”

Mr Scalzo said the Australian Retail Index, which is in the final stages of preparing for phase two, would be a great tool for retailers as the end of the year draws closer.

“With Christmas and the summer holidays fast approaching, retailers will be eager to know daily sales figures,” Mr Scalzo said.

“Retailers will be able to access daily data, allowing them to make rapid changes to their stock levels, marketing campaigns and staffing levels at what is always the busiest retail time of the year.”

The ARI phase two will allow retailers to analyse state-by-state data, as well as metropolitan versus regional data within states.

Data will also be available breaking down transactions by payment type, return rates and changes in average transaction values.

Mr Scalzo said the Australian Retail Index phase 2 was currently in the final stages of testing and due to be launched later this month.