Retail in Asia


Singapore retail sales display modest growth in March 2024

Retail sales experienced a slight year-on-year increase of 2.7 percent in March 2024, marking a significant slowdown compared to the robust 8.6 percent growth witnessed in February, according to data released by Singapore’s Department of Statistics (Singstat).

 SEE ALSO: Hong Kong retail sales drop in March, ending 15-month growth streak

Excluding motor vehicles, growth rate reached 2.0 percent, maintaining momentum from February’s 9.5 percent surge. On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail sales experienced a decline of 1.0 percent in March 2024 compared to the previous month.

The total estimated value of retail sales in March 2024 amounted to SGD4.2 billion.

Notably, online retail sales accounted for 11.7 percent of this total, surpassing the 10.8 percent recorded in February.

Excluding motor vehicles, the total value of retail sales reached approximately SGD3.5 billion, with online sales contributing 13.9 percent. Online retail sales played a significant role in various industries, constituting 46.0 percent, 32.5 percent, and 12.5 percent of total sales in the Computer & Telecommunications Equipment, Furniture & Household Equipment, and Supermarkets & Hypermarkets sectors, respectively.

Within the retail trade sector, most industries demonstrated year-on-year growth in sales during March 2024. The Food & Alcohol industry stood out with the highest growth rate of 17.0 percent, while Watches & Jewellery and Motor Vehicles experienced increases of 14.1 percent and 7.0 percent, driven primarily by increased demand for watches and an expanded COE quota, respectively.

The Food & Alcohol industry witnessed the highest increase at 15.1 percent, followed by the Cosmetics, Toiletries & Medical Goods industry at 8.8 percent, and Department Stores at 7.7 percent.

Meanwhile, in the food and beverage (F&B) sector, sales of F&B services grew by 5.0 percent in March 2024 compared to the previous year, continuing the positive trend from February’s 14.8 percent growth.

SEE ALSO: Retailers bullish on brick-and-mortar expansion in Asia-Pacific

The total sales value of F&B services in March 2024 was estimated at SGD982 million, with online sales accounting for 23.1 percent of that amount, up from the 20.8 percent recorded in February.

Among F&B services, caterers experienced a notable growth rate of 13.5 percent in March 2024. Additionally, turnover for Restaurants and Cafes, Food Courts and other eating places increased by 7.1 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, during this period. Sales of fast food outlets declined by 1.4 percent in March 2024.