Stats SA released its February 2024 retail sales update in the middle of April, with consumers still appearing to be under extreme pressure. The year hasn’t started off well in terms of growth, though it looks as though it may be slightly better than at the same time in 2023. Though load-shedding has eased marginally, interest rates remain extremely high and port logistics are problematic.

In February, real retail trade sales (at constant 2019 prices) declined 0.8% year on year after a downwardly revised 2% decline in January. Retailers in clothing, footwear, textiles & leather (CFTL) reported the largest decline, with sales falling 6.8% year on year and contributing minus 1.1% of the net total retail sales figure. It appears that CFTL retailers are taking strain from a host of foreign online retailers that are proving to be extremely price competitive...

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