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?

The Retail Trends Survey of retailers and wholesalers across the industry gives us an early overview of retail conditions in the preceding month. These are the results of the 91st survey, reflecting conditions in February 2017.

Sales · Improved slightly however were broadly flat. Nearly two thirds report sales either flat or +5%.

· A third are reporting sales down 5% or more and a third report sales up 5% or more.

· Sales steady except for Apparel & Footwear, Consumer Electronics and Furniture & Household Goods.

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

·All categories continued to report flat gross margins with little change from the prior month. Although Consumer Electronics gross margins remain slightly weak they were also steady.

Balance Sheets ·Wholesalers’ inventory was higher while Retailers’ inventory remained the same. Debtor and Creditor levels remain the same for both Wholesalers and Retailers.
Outlook ·The 3 month sales outlook continues on a very slight upward trend after reaching a low in October 2016. Although gross margins are expected to be weaker.

·Consumer sales is the #1 and #2 pressure while discounting is the #3 concern.

Commentary ·There is concern amongst retailers, expecting flat sales as we experience late summer weather patterns moving into April. There is also an awareness regarding Easter and the public holidays with most expecting little impact but planning their sale dates accordingly.


Do you want your say on retail trends each month? To be a part in the monthly surveys please contact Reality Channel Analyst Emma Negri at