shop front open sign

The unthinkable has happened to Australia’s shopkeepers: growth in retail sales over the last financial year has been the lowest since records began. And this during the most sustained global upswing in trade, corporate profits, jobs and executive salaries in decades.

The dismal data

The latest numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show total retail sales for 2017-18 at $315.8 billion. This is an increase of $7.8 billion – or just 2.55% – over the previous financial year.