The Australian Bureau of Statistics has today (September 3) released some facts and figures about the retail sector that may disappoint some business owners.

Apparently sales only increased by 0.1 per cent during July – a result that the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) has called “lacklustre”.

The country’s department stores were the hardest hit, recording a decrease in sales of 7.9 per cent.

However, there is – as always – a silver lining. Margy Osmond, chief executive officer of the ANRA, said that sales in household goods were up 1.8 per cent in July, which puts them at their highest level since February.

Other areas, such as “clothing, footwear and personal accessories,” food and “cafes, restaurants and takeaway” services also saw positive movement. These rose by 1.4 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals we should be thanking South Australia for this silver lining, as a sales increase of 1.6 per cent in this state greatly contributed to the country’s overall rise.

Victoria, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory also saw increases, albeit minor in comparison. These were 0.2 per cent, 3.1 per cent, 1.5 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.

In a September 3 statement, Ms Osmond said there is “no reason for retailers to panic just yet”.

She added that it was “good to see South Australia and Tasmania beginning to turn around after prolonged periods of weakness”.

It’s evident from these statistics that retail is a risky business. While you can’t predict the future, you may be able to prepare for some eventualities with retail insurance.

There are a variety of small business insurance options available – some of them specifically tailored to certain business types.