In this section, analysis is provided for both the Northern Territory's (NT) retail and wholesale trade industries. It explores the current state, performance and activity of each sector. The main retail categories are food, household goods, clothing, footwear and personal accessories, newspaper and books, other recreational goods, pharmaceuticals cosmetics and toiletries, and cafes restaurants and takeaway food. The wholesale industry makes up a significantly smaller share of employment relative to retail trade and relates to industrial storage and equipment, transport and food wholesaling.
Economic contribution | Contribution to employment | Retail trade | Wholesale trade | Explanatory notes
Retail trade is largely influenced by household expenditure, disposable income and consumer spending habits, which typically follow movements in population, employment, wages and the residential market conditions.
Wholesale trade is the sale of new or used goods to businesses and institutional users, but excludes government users. Activity in the NT’s wholesale trade industry is mainly in industrial storage and equipment, transport and food wholesaling. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) does not publish disaggregated data on wholesale trade by jurisdiction.
- the retail and wholesale trade industry declined by 9.1% to $1.1 billion in real terms (Chart 1)
- as a percentage share of gross state product (GSP), the industry contributed 4.5%, below the 10‑year average of 5.3%.
Contribution to employment
- employment in retail and wholesale trade in the NT increased by 8.8% to 14,178 persons
- the share of total resident employment increased to 10.8% of the total NT workforce, and remains the Territory’s third largest employing industry
- employment in the wholesale trade sector increased by 11.1%, and retail industry increased by 8.4% (Chart 2)
- 82.0% were employed in retail trade compared to wholesale trade (18.0%)
- nationally, the share of total employment (12.7%), has trended downward since 2012‑13.
In 2020 (real terms):
- retail turnover increased by 5.9 per cent to $3.2 billion in the NT (Chart 3)
- a positive contributor to retail trade in the NT was food retailing
- a detractor to retail trade in the NT were cafes, restaurants and takeaway food (Chart 4).
In the year to February 2021 (current terms):
- retail turnover increased by 11.9 per cent to $3.5 billion in the NT
- the positive contributors to retail trade in the NT were food retailing (5.7 ppt) and other recreational goods (0.8 ppt) and pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry (0.4 ppt) and clothing, footwear and personal accessory (0.3 ppt)
- the largest detractor to retail trade in the NT were cafes, restaurants and takeaway food (-0.5 ppt)
- for the latest available data and analysis about the NT’s retail market, see the Department of Treasury and Finance’s Retail trade economic brief.
- wholesale trade sector in the NT made up 38.6% of the retail and wholesale trade industry compared to 48.0% nationally
- the industry decreased by 15.0% to $448 million in the NT, compared to a 4.6% increase nationally (Chart 5).
- The analysis on the components of retail activity is based on ABS data on retail trade, which is measured on a different basis to the GSP data. For the latest available data and analysis about the NT’s retail market, see the Department of Treasury and Finance’s Retail trade economic brief. This quarterly release is based on chain volume or inflation adjusted estimates and differs from the monthly statistics which are based on current prices.
- There is no corresponding economic brief for wholesale trade industry and the ABS does not publish disaggregated data on wholesale trade by jurisdiction.
- The ABS provides useful information and sources about the retail industries. The publication presents an estimate value of retail trade turnover for Australian businesses classified by industry, state and territory.