Although the headlines from this morning's March 2020 quarter Retail Trade Survey make it look ominous for a retail sector faced with the imminent shift to Level 4, it's not all bad news.
Indeed, Core Retail sales volume was +4% for the March 2020 quarter compared to the March 2019 quarter, while Core Retail sales by value were +5.3%.
By value and, as you'd expect pre-lockdown, FMCG showed strong growth (+12.7% for Supermarket & Grocery Stores), along with Pharmaceuticals and Electrical & Electronic Goods.
It's noteworthy too in this context that Stats NZ's Hardware, Building & Garden Supplies category also fared well.
Indeed, for the March 2020 quarter, the volume of sales in Hardware, Building & Garden Supplies was +4%, while sales value for the quarter, at $2.2 billion, was +5.6% on (and showing slightly better growth than) the March 2019 quarter.
The figures for the June 2020 quarter RTS (due for release on 24 August) will show the true extent of what lockdown did to the retail sector...