Indonesian retailers making sales again

Following a lacklustre trading year, Indonesian retailers are starting to find their sales figures turning around.

Electronics, automotive parts and clothes have all seen an uptick in demand, reports The Jakarta Post.

Ramayana Lestari Sentosa, which runs department stores for low- to middle-income consumers, has targeted its sale to grow by 7 per cent this year to Rp8.3 trillion (US$640 million) after shrinking 2.7 per cent last year, when the country’s economy had its weakest growth, at 4.79 per cent, since the 2009 global financial crisis.

The latest Bank Indonesia retail sales index (IPR) shows 11.6 per cent growth year-on-year in March to 196.7, the highest level since July last year.

Ramayana has 114 outlets in 54 cities.

In Bandung’s electronics centre, ITC Kebon Kelapa, west Java, mobile phone retailers are finally seeing their sales pick up after plunging by up to 50 per cent at the start of the year.

Retailer Ronny Suryadi says his sales plunged in January and February before picking up by 20 per cent in March when new models became available, dragging down the prices of the older phones. “Both consumers who prefer new types, although pricey, and old types with lower prices gain from the momentum, and as sellers we reap more revenues.”

The index for information and telecommunications device sales was the highest at 409.9 in March, with the fastest growth (33.9 per cent year on year). The broader non-food index improved 12.4 per cent, while the food index grew 11.1 percent.

“As non-food recorded higher growth than food, it shows that middle- and upper-income classes buy more,” says economist Enny Sri Hartati at the think tank Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF). It’s not bad, because the segment accounts for 40 per cent of the population.”

Other than electronic devices, auto spare parts and accessories also had positive progress with 4 per cent growth, sitting at 110.2 on the bank index.

Meanwhile, Nielsen’s first-quarter Consumer Confidence Index survey for Indonesia shows that 82 per cent of the 500 respondents say this year is the right time to spend more. The index has risen from 115 in December to 117 at the end of the quarter.

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