Report by Evans & Partners

Reality Channel

The January trading results from the monthly Evans & Partners Retail Trends Survey are in!

The Evans and Partners Reality Channel Network in the retail sector consists of Retailers, Wholesalers and Manufacturers across Australia.

Every month Evans & Partners request participation in our Retail Trends Survey, which gives an overview of the sector. They look for trends rather than the individual figures each month and try to give you a relevant and timely idea of conditions.

It is a great way to find out if others in your category are experiencing the same as you, was it a weak month across the board? Or is your category performing strongly? Categories in the survey are;

  • Apparel & Footwear,
  • Consumer Electronics,
  • Discretionary Consumables,
  • Furnishings & Household Goods,
  • Giftware & Books and
  • Sports, Leisure and Toys.

Participation is anonymous and confidential. Evan & Partners have a loyal and regular group who complete the survey for the group, and I would invite you to complete it too.

The full report covers the drivers behind sales and gross margins, inventory levels, sales channels and locations and more. If you would like to receive a copy, please get in contact with Emma Negri, the reality channel analyst here


Sales ·Nearly one third continue to report flat sales with the majority of 64% reporting sales between -5% and +5%.

·There is increased divergence with more outliers in the sales results. Nearly 20% are reporting sales down 10% or more, while 20% report sales up 10% or more.

·Sales steady for most categories however Apparel & Footwear and Sport leisure & Toys, slightly weaker.

Gross Margins ·Gross margins steady with nearly half reporting flat gross margins.

·All categories reported flat gross margins except for Consumer Electronics which was marginally weaker.

Balance Sheets · Wholesalers’ and Retailers’ inventory were both skewed to lower levels. Debtor and Creditor levels remain the same for both Wholesalers and Retailers.
Outlook ·The 3 month outlook is on a very slight upward trend after reaching a low in October 2016. Business pressures have moderated and while sales remains the #1 pressure it is at a historically low level of 30%.
Apparel & Footwear Commentary ·In line with the overall flat results, some comments specific to Apparel & Footwear:

“Some stores up… some stores down…were chasing big numbers and consecutive year on year increases of over 30%….but generally lack of surf hurt our board sales and hire.”

“Coming into regular and better surf months…given lack of surf…feel positive that it will eventually come and when it does…should be good.”

Commentary ·January can be summarised as flat with higher numbers of respondents for each question reporting steady sales, similar gross margins, unchanged basket sizes and little change to foot traffic numbers.