Retail sales dipped 4% to $3.6b in November

Motor vehicles and furniture & household equipment led the decline in sales.

Total retail sales fell 4% to $3.6b in November from its figure in November 2018, according to data from the Department of Statistics (SingStat). Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales slipped 0.6% YoY.

The figure was dragged down by the decline in motor vehicles and furniture & household equipment sales, which crashed 22.4% YoY and 10.9% YoY, respectively. It is said to have corresponded with the lower COE quota for the period of November 2019 to January 2020 and lower demand for household equipment.

Similarly, department stores and the recreational goods sales saw declines of 8.4% and 4.5%, respectively, over the same period.

Conversely, sales in the wearing apparel & footwear industry rose 4.3%, due partly to higher demand for bags & footwear. Sales from mini-marts & convenience stores, watches & jewellery and computer & telecommunications equipment and supermarkets & hypermarkets recorded higher sales of between 1.2% and 3%.

In addition, online retails sales accounted for 8% of the total figure compared to the 6.1%
recorded in October 2019. It was driven by higher online retail sales from major online shopping events such as Singles’ Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

On a MoM basis, retail sales grew 0.2% in November. Optical goods & books sales rose 7.6% MoM, largely attributed to higher demand for books. Other retail industries with gains in sales included medical goods & toiletries (+3.7%), recreational goods (+3.3%) and petrol service stations (+3%).

Only motor vehicles recorded a decline in sales of 5%, whilst supermarkets & hypermarkets and food retailers posted lower sales of 3.1% and 1.9%, respectively.

Meanwhile, sales of F&B services grew 5.5% YoY in November, hitting $898m from $851m in November 2018. All food & beverage services industries registered growths in sales, led by fast food outlets sales at 12.4%.

Likewise, sales of restaurants, cafes, food courts & other eating places and food caterers increased between 1% and 6.4% YoY in the same month.  

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