PEOPLE have been leaving department stores to spend more at cafes and restaurants, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed.
The latest retail trade figures showed turnover fell 0.8% in July, after 1.2% growth the previous month.
Much of the fall was driven by a fall in spending in department stores, down by 10.2%, followed by other retailing, down 2.8%, and clothing, footwear and personal accessories, down 0.9%.
Over the longer term, department stores remained the weakest performing industry, down 0.5% in the past year; while cafes, restaurants and takeaway food outlets were up 0.8% in the same period.
Retail turnover fell in all states and territories except Western Australia.
Turnover was down 1.1% in Queensland, down 0.8% in New South Wales, while Western Australia was up 0.5% in trend terms.