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Singapore retail sales fall 1.9% in November as events like Black Friday boost recovery

Singapore retail sales fall 1.9% in November as events like Black Friday boost recovery

File photo of a salesperson in ION Orchard on Jun 19, 2020. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Retail sales in Singapore dipped 1.9 per cent year-on-year in November, an improvement from the revised 8.5 per cent fall in October, according to figures released by the Department of Statistics (SingStat) on Tuesday (Jan 5).

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

This was mainly due to multiple sales events such as Singles' Day (11.11), Black Friday as well as new mobile phone launches, said SingStat.

Compared to the previous month, seasonally adjusted retail sales also improved, expanding 7.3 per cent in November compared to the 0.2 per cent increase in October.

Excluding motor vehicles, seasonally adjusted retail sales grew by 9.8 per cent compared with the 0.1 per cent increase in October.

On a year-on-year basis, most retail industries continued to register declines in sales in November. Cosmetics, department store, as well as apparel and footwear sales declined between 22.3 per cent and 27.5 per cent as these industries continued to remain affected by low visitor arrivals. 

Meanwhile, computer and telecommunications equipment, along with furniture and household equipment saw growths in sales of 29 per cent and 28.5 per cent respectively. This is due mainly to higher sales of mobile phones and household appliances, said SingStat. 

Supermarkets and hypermarkets saw a growth in sales of 22.6 per cent, while sales of recreational goods rose 13.1 per cent, due to higher demand for groceries and sporting goods.

(Table: SingStat)


On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, most retail industries recorded sales growths in November. 

Computers and telecommunications recorded higher sales of 59 per cent from new mobile phone launches. 

Watches and jewellery, department stores, as well as furniture and household equipment recorded higher sales of between 13.4 per cent and 20.7 per cent. 

In contrast, motor vehicles recorded a 5.2 per cent decline in sales during this period. 

READ: Commentary: Robinsons shuttered for good. Does Singapore have too much retail space?

The estimated total value of retail sales in November was about S$3.6 billion, of which 14.3 per cent was spent online, an increase from the 10.5 per cent recorded in the previous month. 

"The higher online retail sales proportion was due to the online shopping events in November such as Singles’ Day," said SingStat. 

(Table: SingStat)


Food and beverage sales fell 22.5 per cent in November on a year-on-year basis. 

Turnover of food caterers fell 75.3 per cent, as demand for event catering remained low. 

Similarly, restaurants, cafes, food courts and other eating places, as well as fast food outlets, saw a decline in sales of between 3.2 per cent and 25.3 per cent. 

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, all F&B services industries recorded growth in sales in November. 

READ: COVID-19: F&B businesses welcome Phase 3 announcement, say customers hungry to dine in bigger groups

"The total sales value of food and beverage services in November 2020 was estimated at S$705 million. 

"Of these, online food and beverage sales made up an estimated 19.3 per cent," said SingStat.

Source: CNA/lk(gs/hs)


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