Singapore retail sales – excluding motor vehicles – plummeted 32.8 per cent in April as Covid-19-related lockdowns saw non-essential retailers closing their physical stores.
Including motor vehicles in the data, the fall was 40.5 per cent.
Significantly, online sales accounted for a record 17.8 per cent of total retailing, with 70.6 per cent of sales in the computer and telecommunications category occurring online in April and 50.4 per cent of furniture and household equipment. However, just 7.7 per cent of the total sales of supermarkets were conducted online.
According to Statistics Singapore, the worst-affected retail sector overall was department stores where sales fell by 87.8 per cent. Sales in watch and jewellery stores fell by 84.6 per cent.
On the plus side, sales by supermarkets & hypermarkets soared 74.6 per cent, partly driven by people staying at home to work or study during the Circuit Breaker lockdown and partly due to the move from eating out to preparing food at home. Minimarts & convenience stores boosted their sales by 10.7 per cent.