Toys propel internet sales in Australia

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screen_minimotorracing_01_thumbOnline sales in Australia inched up by 1.5 per cent in April over the previous month, buoyed by the higher demand for toys and electronic games, according to an index compiled by a major bank.

As a result, online retail sales in the country surged by 9.6 per cent on an annual basis to reach AU$16.9 billion during the year to April 2015.

According to National Australia Bank’s (NAB) data, internet sales of toys and electronic games recorded an increase of 31 per cent for the year and 10.4 per cent for the month.

Media sales edged up by 2 per cent, while sales of furniture and home appliances climbed by 1.2 per cent. However, the demand for groceries and items sold at “daily deals” sites declined.

Nevertheless, online sales now account for 7 per cent of the total retail spending in the country, compared to just 6.6 per cent in the corresponding period in 2014.

The growth of internet sales also continues to surpass that of physical stores, said NAB’s Group Chief Economist Alan Oster. He added that “recent online growth has been more subdued than the 20-30 per cent year-on-year growth recorded in earlier years.”

When broken down by category, 33.2 per cent of total online spending by Australians goes to department and variety stores, followed by homeware and appliances at 16.8 per cent. Meanwhile, groceries and liquor make up 15.3 per cent of the market share.

Media products account for 12.4 per cent overall, while fashion items account for 11.4 per cent and personal and recreational goods account for 5.5 per cent. The categories of toys/electronic games and daily deals account for 2.7 per cent each.

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