Australian retail turnover increased 0.1% in May 2021, seasonally adjusted, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) retail trade figures released on Monday. And seasonally adjusted turnover was up 7.4% in May 2021 compared with May 2020, the figures showed.
Let’s take a closer look at what the ABS reported and how some of the related ASX 200 shares are faring.
May retail trade results
Despite the slight increase in retail turnover in May, the ABS reported a number of offsetting movements at the industry level.
Food retailing was a strong performer, increasing 1.5%. But the sector was offset by declines across household goods (down 1%) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (down 1.5%).
Victoria became the main drag on overall figures as the state entered a COVID-related lockdown in late May. This saw the state record a 1.5% fall for the month.
However, the ABS noted that Victoria experienced a 4.0% uplift in food retailing, with a particularly strong turnover from supermarkets.
Queensland and Western Australia played their parts in offsetting the decline from Victoria, both reporting a 1.5% increase in overall turnover for the month.
Supermarkets grind higher in May
The Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price pushed almost 6% higher from $39.30 to $41.60 in May.
By 16 June, the supermarket giant’s shares briefly hit a new record all-time high of $44.06.
Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) has been struggling since the company’s sharp February sell-off where its management warned: “Depending on COVID-19, vaccine roll out and efficacy, and other factors, sales in the supermarket sector may moderate significantly or even decline in the second half of FY21 and into FY22.”
Coles shares managed to eke out a gain of about 1.50% from $16.32 to $16.57 in May.
Mixed results from retail ASX 200 shares
Many ASX 200 retail shares are still struggling to find headway, as they cycle through a period of tough comparables against strong COVID-19 charged earnings in FY20.
High-fliers in the retail industry including Kogan.com Ltd (ASX: KGN), JB Hi-Fi Ltd (ASX: JBH) and Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd (ASX: HVN) have had mixed results, with a respective -8%, +4.70% and +0.90% return in May.