Retail takings decline 9.5% in February over last year

Retailers saw their takings drop 9.5 per cent in February over the same month a year ago, with most categories experiencing a drop in sales.

The decline was due mainly to Chinese New Year falling in the month of February in 2013 but in January this year, the Statistics Department said on Tuesday.

Total retail sales in February came in at about $2.7 billion, lower than the $3 billion recorded the previous year.

Retailers of food and beverages, supermarkets, wearing apparel and footwear, department stores, motor vehicles and provision and sundry shops reported double-digit sales declines of 10.5 per cent to 33.7 per cent.

Takings at other retail outlets, including those selling medical goods and toiletries, recreational goods, telecommunications apparatus and computers, furniture and household equipment and watches and jewellery also declined.

However, retail sales of optical goods and books grew 7 per cent in February over the same month last year.