Retail sales rose 7% in November to boost ASX retail shares

Retail sales improved 7.1% in November as Melbourne trade resumed, post-lockdown. Here's a closer look at the breakdown and which ASX retail shares saw a boost.

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Australian retail turnover rose 7.1% in November 2020, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Retail Trade figures.   

The rise was led by Victoria, which saw its retail sales surge by 22.4% as Melbourne retail stores were able to trade for a full month in November. Excluding Victoria, turnover increased 2.6%. 

ASX retail shares have largely reported upbeat earnings, especially in the months of November and December. Here are the industries and ASX retail shares that have benefitted from improved retail conditions. 

Industry level breakdown 

At the industry level, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing jumped by 26.7%. 

Coinciding with the strong performance for this segment, Accent Group (ASX: AX1) released a trading update on 7 January 2021 citing stronger than expected sales in November and December. The company is now expecting group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the half year ended 27 December 2020 to be in the range of $95 million to $98 million, which represents a growth of between 40–45% on the prior corresponding period. 

Department stores also experienced a significant uplift in turnover with a 21.1% increase. This has helped the likes of Kmart and Target owner Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) hit all-time record highs on the back of strong earnings across the group's retail businesses.

Household goods retailing also improved 12.7%. Nick Scali Limited (ASX: NCK) recently updated its profit guidance following better than anticipated container availability during the months of November and December, which lead to increased delivery volumes. The company now expects unaudited net profit after tax for the six months to 31 December 2020 to be $40.5 million, up approximately 100% on the prior corresponding period.

Other household retailers such as Temple & Webster Group Ltd (ASX: TPW) and Adairs Ltd (ASX: ADH) have also experienced a recent resurgence in share price.

Elsewhere, cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services increased 6.7% while food retailing fell 0.3%. Total retail turnover rose 13.3% when compared to November 2019. 

E-commerce trend continues 

The growing dominance of e-commerce is also clear in these latest numbers. Online sales made up 11% of total retail turnover in November 2020, compared to 10.4% in October 2020, while in November 2019, online retail contributed 7.2% to total retail turnover. 

Lina Lim has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Temple & Webster Group Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. recommends ADAIRS FPO. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Accent Group, ADAIRS FPO, and Temple & Webster Group Ltd. 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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