Retail Trade Sales An ill wind
Another month, another drop in retail trade sales, with the (metaphorically) chill winds of February blowing in a 1.7% decline year-on-year after January’s drop of 2.3%. Some sectors fared better than others, naturally: the clothing boys (and of course girls) saw a decline of 7.6%, while our own great sector grew sales 5.8%. Not much to say, really, other than poor economic growth, high unemployment and the whole shooting party of unsatisfactory fundamentals has come at last to this, and where once retail gave the economy a much-needed shot in the arm, there’s only so much one can do. In other news, a report by EY (Ernst and Young, presumably) point to a dismal near-future for the industry as the downgrade sparks a possible rise in interest rates and currency depreciation, which will strain consumer’s disposable income and send us scrabbling harder after every cent. On the upside, some interesting figures from the report: grocery retailers enjoy a massive 66% share in the retail sector’s profits, followed by speciality with 18% and clothing at 16%. On the ROI front, a little leaner, bringing home only 22.3%, despite having the majority of spend at 62%.
Comment: Here’s a punt for a government department doing its job: when you get a chance, head on over to StatsSA whose website is both readable and informative.