Calls for government support after drop in December sales

The National Retail Association (NRA) has called for government support for small businesses after new data revealed a decline in retail sales in December.

The ABS’ recently released December 2021 report revealed a 4.4 per cent drop in nationwide turnover compared the previous month.

Dominique Lamb, NRA CEO, said given December is traditionally the busiest month of the year, the drop in sales confirms the sector is facing a very challenging period.

“The Omicron surge has certainly cautioned people from heading out to the shops and many CBD workers continue to work from home. Lockdown restrictions may have been lifted in many parts of the country, but consumer confidence is very weak.”

Lamb recognised that while more Christmas shopping is taking place in November, the nosedive is the worst since April 2020.

“Internal NRA data indicates that 95 per cent of small businesses surveyed had been negatively impacted by Omicron. While a majority have had to decrease casual staff levels, implement alternative rosters, and reduce trading hours.”

Lamb said that small businesses are the ones directly in the firing line and are in desperate need to stimulus measures.

“The NRA is calling on state and federal governments to work together to provide support to smaller retailers who have suffered steep revenue drops during what is typically the busiest time of year.”

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