Retail sales volumes rose 2.5% in the December 2020 quarter compared to the previous quarter according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The uptick in retail sales in the December quarter was driven by Victoria as COVID-19 restrictions eased, prompting a 12.8% jump in retail sales.
Retail volumes were up 10.4% for cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food services in the December quarter, while food retailing fell 2.6% for the period.
Despite lifts in volume retail sales for the quarter, turnover fell 4.1% month-on-month in December, following a 7.1% rise in November. In Victoria, turnover was down 6.8% in December due to stronger trade in November when COVID-19 restrictions eased. NSW was impacted by local lockdowns, impacting spending in the lead up to Christmas as December retail turnover fell 4.9%. Tasmania retail turnover was down 3.6% in December, followed by falls in WA (-2.0%), Qld (-1.8%) and South Australia (-0.7%).
Across industries, retail turnover in food retailing dropped 1.7% in December, while cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services rose 3.2%. Online sales made up 9.1% of total retail sales in December 2020, up from 6.6% in December 2019.