Jewellery sales continue to perform well according to the latest figures released by Mastercard.
Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra indicated that the Mastercard SpendingPulse shows that discretionary retail sales have recovered well from the impact of COVID restrictions last year’s, with jewellery sales up 107 per cent compared to the same month in 2021.
Overall retail sales had increased 27 per cent in August compared to the same month last year.
SpendingPulse analyses national retail data across all payment types and the findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and cheque.
“In August last year, our two largest states were in lockdown, so it’s not surprising to see discretionary retail categories record such significant growth compared to 12 months ago. What’s pleasing though is that sales are also up compared to pre-pandemic levels across most retail categories,” Mr Zahra said.
“While consumer spending is strong for now, the concern is that we haven’t seen the full impact of the interest rate hikes hit household budgets. According to the government, inflation is also yet to reach its forecast peak, so we could see a softening of sales as we head into 2023.”
Other retail categories also performed will with apparel sales increasing by 83 percent, electronics up 66 per cent and home furnishings up 51 per cent.
The SpendingPulse results supports Retail Edge’s monthly tracking of 400 Australian independent retail jewellery stores.
In August Retail Edge reported that comparative overall sales dollars rose by 62 per cent compared with 2021, while the comparative units sold category was a similar story, rising by 61 per cent compared with 2021. Comparative average sale (inventory only) dropped 2.6 per cent, from $238 to $232.
Retail Edge sales manager Mike Dyer said the data was pleasing while noting the importance of context.
“As stated last month, when reviewing the numbers to remember that July, August and September 2021 and 2020 were impacted by lockdowns and so will have had an influence on the growth numbers,” he explained.
The Australian Retailers Association media release pointed out that most retail categories recorded significant year-on-year sales growth following the 2021 Delta lockdowns end.
Zahra added, “While the retail sector is performing well overall from a sales perspective, the results remain uneven with small businesses more acutely challenged by inflationary impacts and rising costs associated with fuel, energy, supply chains and rent. The government’s fuel excise cut is also about to come to an end, adding further pressure to businesses and consumers.
“It’s incredible to see retail sales perform so well in the face of cost-of-living pressures, however the coming months could prove to be more challenging with household savings starting to erode and mortgage holders being squeezed even tighter.”
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