In March, retail picked-up again (+0.5% from Feb and 6.1% y.o.y ).

To start the highlights…

Year-on-year fashion is benefitting from a weaker Australian dollar, which is making overseas buying less attractive. The continuing home buying boom and subsequent increase in home development from last year is carrying over and helping to grow the home, hardware and electrical categories. When it comes to food services, café and casual dining is dominating. A trend we are also seeing in the US with the rise of ‘Fast Casual Dining’.

On the other side of the fence…

Pharmacy continues to struggle as they re-evaluate how to do business with government regulation and discount chemists becoming the norm. Finally, the numbers suggest that department stores and accessories need to shape-up in order to attract new consumers (we’re hoping Woolworths South Aftrica’s purchase of David Jones might help to spearhead this transition).