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Singapore retail sales continued to fall in September

Ion Orchard

Singapore retail sales – excluding motor vehicles – fell by 12.7 per cent in September, a higher rate than the 8.2 per cent of August. 

Out of sales of SG$3.2 billion (US$2.36 billion) Statistics Singapore estimates online sales accounted for about 11.2 per cent.

Online was driven by the computer & telecommunications equipment, furniture & household equipment and supermarkets & hypermarkets categories, where the online share was 46.9 per cent, 24.8 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively.

In general retailing, Statistics Singapore noted that sales in the grocery and household equipment sectors still benefited from the trend towards working from home due to enhanced social-distancing requirements during the month.

As the chart below shows, sales by department stores, of apparel and footwear, and watches and jewellery fell by between 15.6 per cent and 28.4 per cent.

Singapore retail sales by category in September 2020 (Courtesy Statistics Singapore).

Hard-hit categories were department stores, Cosmetic, Toiletries & Medical Goods and Wearing Apparel & Footwear sectors, which recorded declines of between 28.4 per cent and 39.8 per cent.

In the food and beverage services sector, online orders accounted for about 20.4 per cent of the estimated $629 million (US$463.74 million) in sales during September. Overall sales were down 29.9 per cent driven by a 78.2-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.

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