The latest Bankwest Spend Trends data has unearthed signs of a business rebound, with barber and beauty shops leading the charge as restrictions within Western Australia begin easing.
Bankwest’s Spend Trends series compares fortnightly merchant data against a pre-coronavirus period, to help illustrate how the WA community and businesses adapt to the COVID-19 impact.
Additional analysis also compared recent trends to the first week of April – when lowest overall turnover was recorded – to identify the business sectors beginning to reverse their decline.
Barber and beauty shops, having fallen 75 per cent in turnover by the peak of coronavirus measures, rebounded 228 per cent when comparing the first week of May to first week of April.
The sector led the signs of recovery, with jewellery stores (43%), doctors (41%) and restaurants and dining out (39%) also increasing turnover, but all are yet to return to pre-COVID levels.
However, the overall impact of COVID-19 on WA businesses remained evident when comparing the recent turnover of merchants (29 Apr-5 May) to the pre-coronavirus period (22-28 Feb).
The impact on in-person businesses continued as ‘educational services’ (88%) and ‘civic and social associations’ (79%) entered the Top 5 merchants most negatively impacted by coronavirus.
The sectors comprise of merchants heavily reliant on other businesses, such as resource sector training and union groups, or involving person-to-person activities, such as community centres.
Sectors relating to home improvements, maintenance, redecorations and renovations continued to dominate the growth group amidst COVID-19, with furniture stores (143%) topping the period.
Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said the emerging recovery of some sectors would hopefully prove an encouraging sign for businesses still experiencing an ongoing toll.
“When preventative measures came into effect, some sectors were immediately impacted, but this data shows others have suffered the same damage, just more drawn-out,” he said.
“The lifting of restrictions on gatherings of 10 people, combined with expected further easing, could prove a timely saviour for some of those businesses that rely on in-person trading.
“We’re also starting to see the positive impacts on businesses when restrictions do lift, which must provide some hope and promise for those in the community facing challenging times.”
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