Victoria suffers a further fall in retail sales as Melbourne heads towards world record lockdown

Victoria has suffered a further serious fall in retail sales of 3.0 per cent seasonally adjusted in August, a drop of $231.6 million in one month.

This comes on the back of falls in retail sales of $73.8 million in May (-0.9 per cent) and $313.1 million in July (-4.0 per cent).

Victoria’s performance is worse than the national average. It reflects Daniel Andrews’ mismanagement of COVID-19 and the near world record lockdown in Melbourne.

The retail sector in Victoria is a significant employer and will play a crucial role in the COVID-19 recovery phase in our state.

Falling sales mean falling demand. Falling demand means pressure on business viability not just at the counter, but business under pressure in the supply chain as well.

For workers it means cuts in hours worked, Victorian jobs under threat, and families and individuals under financial pressure.

These retail figures follow the back of bad labour force figures pointing to a decline in hours worked. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour figures released last week reported climbing underemployment with 568,700 fellow Victorians underemployed in August, an increase of 52,900 relative to July and a whopping 134,600 more than in April.

The figures also show that in August 124,100 Victorians working full time worked few hours than usual and 135,900 Victorians working part time also lost hours compared to July.

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, David Davis:

“The result of Labor’s mismanagement of COVID-19 is contracting retail sales, a body blow to retailers and their staff.

“Melbourne’s almost world record lockdown is putting retail businesses at risk and making recovery harder.

“Retail is sliding badly in Victoria under Daniel Andrews and Tim Pallas with thousands of jobs at risk and surging underemployment is a sign of the stress Victorian businesses and families are under.

“Daniel Andrews has botched the management of COVID in Victoria and by slamming shut so many shops and businesses, it smashes retail sales making our recovery harder.”