January Retail Figures Flat - 0.4% Growth
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Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for January’s retail sales show a lift of just 0.4% with household goods suffering.This shows a slight increase on 0.2 per cent growth recorded the previous month, when seasonally adjusted.

Market predictions for sales the first month of the year estimated 0.3 per cent growth. 
The latest ABS Retail Trade figures show department stores sales jumped 2.3%, which includes the likes of like David Jones, Myer while “other retailing” rose 2.1%. 
Sales turnover for household goods retailing, which includes electrical goods fell into negative figures at -4.6%, the ABS said today.
Trend turnover remained relatively unchanged (0.0%) in January 2011, which is identical to December’s static figure.
This comes as figures released last week from retail stalwarts Woolworths, which owns the Dick Smith, said the electronics seller achieved sales increase of 6.5 percent, though margins suffered. Sales for Big W fell, however. 
Harvey Norman showed sales revenue actually rose to $804.1m up from $715.6 in 2009, although profits were down 16.5 per cent.  

Retailers across the board have blamed poor weather, the strong Australian dollar and a challenging environment in retail for the sliding profit margins.