West Aussies get their house in order as secondary impacts hit

30 April 2020

The latest Bankwest Spend Trends data suggests locked-down West Aussies are getting their house in order in a big way, with four of the top-five growth sectors dealing in home makeovers.

However, a different trend has emerged at the opposite end of the scale, as the impact of tourism and travel restrictions, combined with social distancing measures, takes hold.

Bankwest’s Spend Trends compares fortnightly merchant data against a pre-coronavirus period of 22-28 February, to illustrate how West Australians are adapting to coronavirus restrictions.

Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said the Spend Trends analysis, which covered 15-21 April, showed spending habits continued to trend away from March’s panic-buying period.

“Our data shows a consistent shift in spending behaviours in WA away from groceries and electrical appliances and toward home repairs, redecoration and renovations,” he said.

“Turnover growth in furniture stores (42%) and special trades (34%) have pushed these sectors into the Top 5, alongside nurseries (56%) and hardware stores (32%), while bicycle shops (92%) continue to hold top spot.”

’Special trades’ has a heavy slant on home improvement, comprising of suppliers for truck and construction equipment, screens, doors and fencing, along with glaziers and antennae installers.

The trends follow the steady rise in hardware store turnover since coronavirus measures were implemented and suggest West Australians could be moving onto more complex house works.

The other end of the scale – those businesses most negatively impacted by coronavirus – is also evolving, as the cumulative effects of travel and social distancing restrictions take hold.

Amusement parks and miscellaneous recreation services remained at 100 per cent decline, while travel agencies and tour operators (98%), and health and beauty spas (89%) were close behind.

However, the entrance of candy, nut and confectionery suppliers (89%) into the Top 5 declining merchants offered a glimpse at the continuous impact of travel restrictions and social distancing.

Part of that decline could be attributed to a post-Easter drop-off for the likes of chocolatiers, but the year-on-year comparison showed a greater impact, likely partially from a fall in tourist spend.

A developing trend in the sector of educational services (88%), which has risen to sit just outside the Top 5, has also highlighted the indirect effect on businesses of preventative measures.

The sector includes registered training groups, such as first aid course facilitators, flight, driving and music schools, and resource sector training, and could soon be among those hardest hit.

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.

Top 5 merchants by % growth (15-21 Apr against pre-Coronavirus 22-28 Feb)

Rank Sector Growth
Bicycle shops
Nurseries, lawn and garden supplies
Furniture stores
Special trades
5 Hardware stores

Top 5 merchants by % decline (15-21 Apr against pre-Coronavirus 22-28 Feb)

Rank Sector Decline
1 Amusement parks
2 Misc recreation services (sports stadiums, gyms, sports clubs, mini golf, laser tag)
3 Travel agencies and tour operators
4 Candy, nut and confectionery suppliers
5 Health and beauty spas

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