ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Retail sales down 1.9% in November 2020

Food and alcohol saw the largest drop in sales.

Retail sales dipped 1.9% YoY in November 2020, an improvement over the 8.5% YoY decline recorded in October 2020, according to the Department of Statistics (SingStat). Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales fell 2.9%.

The small YoY decline in the month was mainly attributed to the multiple sales events such as Singles’ Day (11.11) and Black Friday, as well as from new mobile phone launches.

The estimated total retail sales value in the said period hit $3.6b, with online retail sales accounting for 14.3% of it. Online retail sales of the computer and telecommunications equipment, furniture and household equipment, and supermarkets and hypermarkets industries made up 51.3%, 28.7%, and 12.2% of the total sales of their respective industry.

Most retail industries continued to record declines, with sales of food and alcohol, cosmetics, toiletries, and medical goods, and department stores industries fell between 24.5% and 37.3% YoY in the same month.

Conversely, the computer and telecommunications equipment and furniture and household equipment industries registered growth sales of 29% and 28.5% YoY, respectively, amidst higher sales of mobile phones and household appliances.

Meanwhile, sales of food and beverage (F&B) services dropped 22.5% YoY in November 2020, compared with the 23.5% YoY decline the previous month.

The total sales value of F&B services in that month was estimated at $705m, where online F&B sales made up 19.3% of it.

YoY declines were recorded across all industries within the F&B sector. Turnover of food caterers sunk 75.3%, as demand for event catering remained low. Similarly, sales of restaurants, cafes, food courts, and other eating places and fast food outlets fell 25.3%, 9.9%, and 3.2% respectively during this period.

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