Transaction data from eftpos found that Victorians opened their wallets and spent up on DIY, flowers and homewares across small and medium retailers in the week following the end of the state’s second COVID-19 lockdown.
Compared to 2019, these businesses experienced a significant spending lift, with building and garden supplies up by 25 per cent, florists up by 23 per cent, newsagencies up by 6 per cent, and furniture, homewares and appliance retailers also up by 6 per cent.
However, the eftpos data revealed many Victorian business categories continuing to bear the brunt included real estate services (down by 81 per cent), clothing and soft goods (down by 25 per cent), hairdressing and beauty spas (down by 20 per cent), veterinary and pet supplies (down by 25 per cent), medical and dental businesses (down by 41 per cent), and even charity and opportunity shops (down by 8 per cent).
Further, the payments provider noted that safety measures limiting venue capacity will continue to impact cafés and restaurants (down by 28 per cent) along with pubs, taverns and bars (down by 54 per cent) for the foreseeable future.
Eftpos Australia chief executive Stephen Benton said some businesses had experienced a significant uplift in spend as consumers returned to their local shops, but many small and medium businesses across Victoria faced tough times ahead.
“It was only a few months ago these same businesses endured their lowest yearly sales on record. In August, florists along with furniture, homewares and appliance retailers were down by 63 per cent, and building and garden supplies sales had dropped down by 28 per cent, as restrictions kept Victorians at home,” Mr Benton said.
“As the backbone of the local retail community, regenerating our small and medium businesses is key to fuelling Australia’s economic recovery.”
Mr Benton said while there was no doubt business confidence levels were rising, this does not translate to a uniform lift in sales volumes at the register just yet.
“Many of the small and medium businesses categories that we analysed are still significantly down on yearly sales,” he said.