Singapore retail sales decline eases to 1.9% in Nov, boosted by mega sales like Singles' Day

THE decline in Singapore's retail sales eased in November, falling 1.9 per cent year on year, due mainly to multiple mega sales events held during the month, according to the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Tuesday.

November's performance is an improvement over the 8.5 per cent year-on-year contraction seen in October. On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales increased 7.3 per cent in November compared to October.

"The smaller year-on-year decline in retail sales was due mainly to multiple sales events such as Singles' Day and Black Friday as well as from new mobile phone launches," SingStat said.

Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales decreased 2.9 per cent in November, compared to the 11 per cent decline in October.

The estimated total retail sales value was about S$3.6 billion, of which 14.3 per cent came from online retail sales, up from the 10.5 per cent seen in October.

Similarly, the higher online retail sales proportion came from the mega sales events. Online retail sales of the computer and telecommunications equipment made up 51.3 per cent; furniture and household equipment, 28.7 per cent; supermarkets and hypermarkets industries, 12.2 per cent of the total sales of their respective industry.

Overall, although most retail industries recorded growth in sales in November on a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, most of them continued to register year-on-year declines in sales.

On a year-on-year basis, sales of cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods, department stores and wearing apparel and footwear fell between 22.3 and 27.5 per cent, as these industries continue to remain affected by low visitor arrivals, SingStat said.

On the other hand, computer and telecommunications equipment grew 29 per cent year on year and 59 per cent month on month, making it the best performing industry in November.

Coming in second was furniture and household equipment, which grew 28.5 per cent year on year and 13.4 per cent month on month.

Supermarkets and hypermarkets continued to perform well year on year with a 22.6 per cent expansion, although sales fell 0.2 per cent month on month.

Sales of food and beverage services fell 22.5 per cent in November on a year-on-year basis, compared to the 23.5 per cent decline in October 2020.