West Aussies on their bike for the social distance

16 April 2020

Cycling retailers have emerged as a counterpoint to WA’s slowing economy, with Bankwest data highlighting how West Australians spend their time and money amid coronavirus restrictions.

The finding emerged in Bankwest figures that examined merchant trends from pre (22-28 February) and during coronavirus measure periods, identifying retailers most affected.

Panic-buying in WA peaked mid-March, with turnover spikes for butchers (150%), electrical appliance stores (88%), pharmacies (79%), supermarkets (60%) and pet shops (53%).

Liquor stores hit their peak in late March (up 62%), but panic-buying trends have since eased significantly, with affected sectors currently elevated by between 10-25 per cent.

Comparison data providing a snapshot of the latest trends (1-7 April against 22-28 February) had bike shops unexpectedly top the results, with a 48 per cent increase in turnover.

Bankwest’s WA data also showed growth trends in the sectors of nurseries and garden supplies (29%), hardware (22%) and electrical appliances (17%), as people spend more time at home.

The trends at the opposite end of the spectrum were less surprising, but the figures laid bare the extent to which certain merchants and sectors have been impacted.

Bankwest merchants in recreation services, such as sports stadiums and gyms, and amusement parks have bottomed out in turnover, with a 100 per cent drop from the pre-coronavirus period.

Travel agents and tour operators are close behind (99% decline), while the recent school closures resulted in a 94 per cent drop in turnover across elementary and secondary institutions.

The Top 5 declining sectors was rounded out by health and beauty spas (92%), as social distancing restrictions closed some retailers and limited access to store locations.

Bankwest General Manager Everyday Banking Louise Tovey said: “Our number one priority is supporting our customers and these trends highlight the pressures some of them are facing.

“We’ve announced support packages to help customers, including business customers, impacted by the coronavirus and I urge anyone whose livelihood has been affected to get in touch with us.

“The data also shows, while some businesses have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus, others have had strong growth, and that’s important, as it’s keeping Western Australians in jobs.”

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 (1-7 Apr against pre-Coronavirus 22-28 Feb)

Rank Sector Growth
Bicycle shops
Nurseries, lawn and garden supplies
Freezer and locker meat provisioners (butchers, abattoirs, seafood merchants; retailers and wholesalers)
Hardware stores
5 Electrical appliance stores 17%

Top 5 merchants by % decline (1-7 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 Elementary and secondary schools
5 Health and beauty spas

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