National Australia Bank (NAB) has released its most recent data from its Online Retail Sales Index (NORSI*), indicating that despite declines in month-on-month seasonally adjusted terms (mom, s.a.), both the Fashion and Department stores sectors recorded positive growth in January, on a year-on-year seasonally adjusted (yoy, s.a.) basis.

On a yoy, s.a. basis, department stores were the fastest growing category at 26.9%, while fashion grew 4.6% in the month.

Overall, online retail sales contracted -0.5% in January on a mom, s.a. basis.

Although a negative number, the decline is still less than the -1.9% fall in December. These declines combined, means that there has been almost no growth in online retailing from the past three months, despite strong trading in November.

However, on a yoy, s.a. basis, the January figures are up 7.5%.

Source: NAB NORSI report January 2019.

NAB chief economist, Alan Oster, said that in geographic terms, WA grew the fastest in January.

“The NAB Online Retail Sales Index recorded -0.5% month-on-month contraction in January, following on from a -1.9% contraction in December.

“While the pace of contraction in mom slowed, the latest result still points to the aftermath of large online sales events in November bringing sales forward. It is also reflective of continued underlying weakness in the broader retail sector.

“Department and variety store online sales contracted in the month, but sales in this category are still up strongly in yoy terms.

“On a yoy basis, strong sales growth was strongest in the large online spend states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. The latter is still catching up from a period of negative growth in 2017.

“In mom terms, WA grew fastest in January, driven by takeaway food, media, grocery and liquor, and toys and games. Growth was also recorded in Victoria and Tasmania. Sales in all other states contracted in the month,” he said.

Source: NAB NORSI report January 2019.

NAB estimates that in the 12 months to January 2019, Aussie consumers spent $28.88 billion on online retail, a level which makes up approximately nine per cent of traditional bricks-and-mortar retailing – which totalled approximately $320.85 billion to December 2018, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

To access the full report, click here.

*Last month NAB made significant changes to the NAB online series. Effectively NAB has merged SME and Corporate Online into a single index, and now provide more detail by region and industry on a monthly basis.

comments powered by Disqus