Retail sales surge 9%

Retail sales surge 9%


Shoppers continue to flock to Australian online retail sites with the sector growing much faster than overall retail sales.

Total sales from Australian online outlets grew by 9 per cent to $440 million in October, compared with 0.5 per cent growth for all retail trade in that month.

The growth was led by online-only outlets, where sales surged 19 per cent to $172 million, compared to “bricks and clicks” multi-channel outlets, with sales up a more modest 3.5 per cent to $267 million.

Online sales to local websites still make up a mere 1.9 per cent of all retail trade, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released Thursday.

The growth in the local online retail sector comes as the local retail lobby, supported by state treasuries eyeing extra goods and services tax revenue, pushes for GST to be applied to imports worth less than $1000.

The push could add 37 per cent “internet tax” to the average overseas online purchase, according to consumer group Choice.

Overall retail sales surged for an eighth month in December, with more Australians eating out and spending on food, and at department stores.

The new online retail data series from the ABS is based on sales to Australian online retail outlets.

National Australia Bank’s online retail index, which is based on the bank’s transaction data to local and international online sites, shows more than 70 per cent of online sales are made to Australian sites.

NAB estimates that the actual share of Australian online sales is double that of the ABS estimate.

For the original article from the Financial Review click here.