More than half of all Australian retailers sold less than $100,000 in 2017, according to the latest report from the Australian Retailers Association.
But the results were different for a number of retail chains, with the majority of the top 20 stores selling less than a third of the industry average, the ACCA’s 2017 Retailing Insight Report showed.
The ACCA says retail sales in Australia have been on a downward trend over the past decade, with an average annual decline of 6.5 per cent.
The biggest declines were for the National Association of Independent Grocers (NAIG), the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), the National Retailers Council (NRC) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACT).
The ACCC said the most popular retailers are in the regions of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, which are experiencing “substantial” population growth and a rise in people buying goods online.
“We believe the current decline in Australian retail is due to the increasing popularity of online retailers such as Amazon, eBay and Kijiji,” ACCC chief executive Peter Collins said.
“This has also contributed to the growth in online retailers and their demand for goods in the retail marketplace.”
The ACCAC also said the Australian economy is in good shape, with unemployment and inflation in line with expectations.
However, Collins warned the ACCC is “increasingly concerned” about the lack of investment in Australia’s public transport network.
“The level of investment that needs to be made to increase public transport is a priority for government and the ACCAC is working with the Commonwealth to ensure we have the funding to invest in infrastructure,” he said.
“We also recognise the impact on regional transport that public transport and infrastructure investments have on the economy.”
The report said Australians are also more likely to buy things online than in person, with 81 per cent of adults shopping online and 81 per-cent of Australians buying in-store.
It also found the average Australian shopper spends about $2,300 a year on in-house online purchases, while the average spend by Australians buying from other countries is $1,500.
While there has been some improvement in the way Australians spend money online, Collins said that doesn’t mean people are spending less money.
“There is still an awful lot of money going out to buy the latest gadgets and things in-stores,” he told the ABC.
“People are still spending a lot of their money on things online, but the level of spending on things is very low.”
In terms of how people are saving money, Collins also said it was still too early to say if the economic slowdown is affecting the savings rate.
“While the ABS has shown that the average amount of money people are putting towards their savings is very high, we need to see more detail in the future to see if it’s affecting the rate of saving,” he added.
The report also found that Australians are spending more money online than they do in-person, with 85 per cent buying online and 82 per- cent buying in stores.