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Retail sales figures appear better for Woolworths than Wesfarmers

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is out with its monthly retail sales data for May and overall the results are basically flat. Seasonally adjusted figures rose just 0.1% in May, which was an improvement on April’s revised 0.1% fall.

While there wasn’t too much for investors to get excited about in the release, food retailing was the second largest contributor to the overall 0.1% rise. Given Woolworths (ASX: WOW) has a more concentrated exposure to food retailing, this may bode well for the company when compared with Wesfarmers (ASX: WES). Wesfarmers owns Coles but is also more exposed to the weaker performing sector of household goods retailing through its larger network of Bunnings, Kmart and Target stores.

The cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services sector also saw declines, with a fall of 0.6%. Weakening sales in this sector are likely making the going tough for many firms, possibly including Collins Foods (ASX: CKF) which is Australia’s largest operator of KFC restaurants.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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