The late release of the iPhone X in Australia this year led to muted September retail sales in the country, according to the Ivan Colhoun, National Australia Bank (NAB) chief markets’ economist.
The U.S. smart-phone maker used to launch its newest model around September, but Australians got their hands on the product at a later time in previous years, Colhoun said. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data, retail sales in September stayed the same in terms of dollar value.
The silver lining to a 0.3 per cent drop in sales between July and September sales involves potentially higher sales in October and November. Colhoun believes that an increase would depend on purchase volumes of the iPhone X.
In 2016, the NAB said that pre-sales of the iPhone may have influenced a one per cent increase in total sales during September. Still, overall sales in September 2017 may have climbed by 0.2 per cent if not for the late release of the newest Apple smart-phone, according to Colhoun. For retailers in Victoria and New South Wales, an advertising and digital agency in Melbourne or Sydney should be parted of their marketing strategy amid the growing use of online shopping.
While the late release of the iPhone X affected retail sales, there are other factors that contributed to stagnant growth. Salaries continue to increase at a slow pace, while interest rates may likely increase in 2018. Higher gas and electricity prices since July also led consumers to stay away from retail stores, Colhoun said.
Since economic growth relies on household consumption, the weak sales figure may dent the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) forecast growth of the A$1.7 trillion economy. The RBA expects it to increase three percent in 2018 and 2019.
It is surprising that the late release of a smart-phone could affect retail sales in Australia. Did your business suffer from weak sales in September?