COVID off the menu as WA business sectors eye recovery

8 June 2020



A West Australian rally cry is resurrecting businesses across the state, with Bankwest’s Spend Trends data showing some of the recovering sectors approaching normal turnover levels.

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 (27 May-2 June) to the first week of April – when lowest overall turnover was recorded – to identify business sectors showing signs of recovery.

That recovery continues to be led by ‘Barber and Beauty Shops’ and the weekend’s resumption of beauty services appears likely to result in a strong recovery from the sector’s COVID-19 drop.

The sector had another fortnight of strong growth and now sits just 15 per cent off pre-COVID turnover levels, despite only barbers operating at full-service since the April low to last weekend.

Camping and border restrictions easing have resulted in ‘Trailer Parks and Camping Grounds’ just 11 per cent off pre-COVID turnover levels, with ‘Fast Food Restaurants’ (13%) close behind.

‘Restaurants and Dining’ remains at half (48%) its pre-COVID turnover, however the recent easing of restrictions by the State Government resulted in tremendous growth for the sector.

The 18 May Phase 2 changes that allowed cafés and restaurants to resume dining-in services at a limited capacity helped the sector’s turnover shoot to 182 per cent against the April low.

The sector is expected to continue its strong growth following the weekend’s implementation of Phase 3, allowing up to 100 dine-in patrons per undivided space, or 300 patrons per venue.

Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “We’ve seen a consistent trend in this data series of businesses rebounding quickly and strongly when the government relaxes measures.

“Restaurants, cafes and the like, were among the hardest hit by the pandemic, plunging 82 per cent in turnover at the peak of restrictions, so it’s promising to see them rebounding so strongly.

“They’re still a long way off where they would want to be, but I’m sure there are a lot of business owners breathing a sigh of relief after the weekend’s roll-out of Phase 3 of the WA Roadmap.

“West Australians are rightfully proud of how their state and communities responded to COVID-19 and, as we edge closer to normality, hopefully our businesses get back on their feet quickly.”

About Bankwest
Bankwest’s vision is to deliver brilliant customer experiences that matter and our purpose is to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities. Bankwest provides personal and business banking solutions for more than 1.1 million customers across Australia. Our customers enjoy access to an extensive network of branches and business centres, direct and third-party distribution channels, agencies and electronic banking facilities, as well as 24-hour banking on the telephone, internet and the Bankwest App. Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit license 234945.

Road to recovery

Top 5 merchants by % growth (22 May-2 Jun against lowest turnover period 1-7 Apr) *
Rank Sector COVID drop %
(22-28 Feb v 1-7 Apr)
Growth % from COVID drop
(1-7 Apr v 22 May-2 Jun)
Change % from pre-COVID
(22-28 Feb v 22 May-2 Jun)
1 Barber and beauty shops -75 247 -15
2 Restaurants and dining out -82 182 -48
3 Hotels, motels and resorts -73 157 -30
4 Trailer parks and camping grounds -64 148 -11
5 Fast food restaurants -54 88 -13
* NB: Excludes sectors that experienced less than 50% drop in turnover from pre-COVID to first week of April.

Overall Covid-19 impact

Top 5 merchants by % growth (22 May-2 Jun against pre-Coronavirus 22-28 Feb)
Rank Sector % Growth
1 Electrical appliance stores 93
2 Furniture stores 91
3 Sporting goods stores 60
4 Automotive tyre stores 50
5 Bakeries 48
Top 5 merchants by % decline (22 May-2 Jun against pre-Coronavirus 22-28 Feb)
Rank Sector % Decline
1 Amusement parks
2 Miscellaneous recreation services (sports stadiums, gyms, sports clubs, mini golf)
3 Travel agencies and tour operators
4 Educational services (tertiary education, registered training orgs)
5 Civic and social associations (community centres, rec activity groups)

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