Retailers sink on weak sales data: Is there more to come?

Retail sales data for May was weaker than expected, suggesting that our retailers are struggling – leading to the share prices of a number of retailers heading south.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) out today showed that retail sales rose just 0.2% in May, despite a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) at the start of the month.

Economists had been expecting a reading of 0.3% – although the data was better than April’s gain of just 0.1%.

At the close, several retailers had seen their share prices sink.

  • Vitamins group Vita Life Sciences Limited (ASX: VSC) was down more than 4% to $1.26
  • KFC franchisee Collins Foods Ltd (ASX: CKF) saw its share price down 4% to $4.10
  • Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN) share price has dropped 3.9% to $4.39
  • JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) saw its share price fall 3.1% to $23.76
  • Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) saw its share price sink 3.1% to $131.85
  • Department Store retailer Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) share price fell 3% to $1.115
  • OrotonGroup Limited (ASX: ORL) saw its share price drop 2.8% to $2.10

According to ABS data, amongst the weakest sectors were household goods retailing, and clothing footwear and personal accessory retailing – with the sectors down 1.1% and 1.2% respectively.

Foolish takeaway

Increasing global uncertainty and the Australian Federal election may also have led to weaker consumer spending in retail stores. With Brexit still in the headlines and a period of uncertainty around the outcome of the election may herald further bad news for retailers.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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