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Singapore retail sales slip further in August, despite online boost

Singapore flag on wall

Singapore retail sales – excluding motor vehicles – fell by 8.4 per cent in August, a slightly higher rate than the 7.7 per cent of July. 

Of the city state’s total sales of SG$3.4 billion (US$2.5 billion) Statistics Singapore estimates online sales accounted for about 11 per cent. Online was driven by the computer & telecommunications equipment, furniture & household equipment and supermarkets & hypermarkets categories, where the online share was 46.7 per cent, 23.5 per cent and 11.7 per cent respectively.

In the food and beverage services sector, online orders accounted for about 20.6 per cent of the estimated $665 million ($482 million) in sales during August. Overall sales were down 28.6 per cent driven by a 70.6 per cent decline in sales by food caterers who were not required to supply the majority of foreign worker dormitories and a lower demand for event catering as a result of restrictions on large-scale events and gatherings.

Meanwhile, in general retailing, Statistics Singapore noted that sales in the technology, grocery and household equipment sectors benefited from the trend towards working from home due to enhanced social-distancing requirements during the month. Sales in those categories rose by between 16 per cent and 22 per cent.

Hard-hit categories were department stores, Cosmetics, and the Apparel & Footwear sectors, which recorded declines of between 29 per cent and 35 per cent.

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