Retail, F&B sales in Singapore drop at smaller rate in October

SINGAPORE – The slump in retail sales eased in October, although most segments still registered double-digit declines, according to data out by the Department of Statistics on Friday (Dec 4).

Takings at the till dropped 8.6 per cent, compared with October last year, an improvement from the revised 10.7 per cent fall in September.

Excluding motor vehicles, the decline was larger, at 11.2 per cent.

But when compared with the previous month, seasonally adjusted retail sales in October posted a slight growth of 0.2 per cent.

On a year-on-year basis, most retail industries still continued to register declines in sales.

The slump in takings was led by food and alcohol, where sales fell by 44.7 per cent, followed by department stores which saw takings drop by 35.2 per cent.

Retailers of cosmetics, toiletries and medical goods saw sales fall by 30 per cent, while wearing apparel and footwear takings also slid, by 26.3 per cent.

Sales of watches and jewellery, computer and telecommunications equipment, and optical goods and books also tumbled.

But sales of supermarkets and hypermarkets continued to do well, with a rise of 22.3 per cent.

Retailers of furniture and household equipment also saw increased sales, of 12.5 per cent, while recreational goods takings rose by 9.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, sales of food and beverage services fell 23.5 per cent in October on a year-on-year basis, an improvement over the 29.1 per cent tumbleunge in the preceding month.

Food caterers again led the fall in sales, with a plunge of 76.4 per cent.

Restaurants saw takings drop by 26.2 per cent. Cafes, food courts and other eating places, and fast food outlets also saw marginal dips in sales.

The total sales value of food and beverage services in October was estimated at $692 million. Of these, online sales made up an estimated 19.7 per cent.

The overall estimated total retail sales value was about $3.3 billion, of which online retail sales made up an estimated 10.5 per cent.

This trend of online sales rising is especially evident for computer and telecommunications equipment, where digital takings made up almost half of the total takings.

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