January retail sales slip 6.1%

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Most retail industries logged a decline in sales in January.

Singapore retail sales slipped 6.1% in the first month of 2021.

According to the latest data from the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS), total retail sales in the first month of the year was $3.8b, with motor vehicle sales making up $6m.

Excluding motor vehicles sales, the total retail sales for January dropped 8.4%.

DOS has attributed the decline in sales in January 2021 to higher sales during Chinese New Year in 2020. Chinese New Year was on 25 January last year and on 12 February this year.

Of the $3.8b total sales for January 2021, 10.3% was through online purchases, or 12.1% excluding motor vehicle sales. Out of the total sales figures for their respective industries, 40.8% of computer and technological equipment, 23.2% of furniture and household equipment, and 11.6% of supermarket and hypermarket purchases were made online.

By industry, food and alcohol saw the largest decline in sales at -43.6% YoY. This was followed by the department store industry at -36.1%; cosmetic, toiletries and medical goods by -31.8%; and wearing apparel and footwear at -28.5% due to low visitor arrivals.

Meanwhile, sales for furniture and household equipment, computer and telecommunications equipment and motor vehicles increased by 25.9%, 24.8% and 10.3%, respectively.