April 25, 2024

Drsecord

It's A Shop Adventure

Christmas retail sales tipped to top $60 billion

Christmas retail sales tipped to top $60 billion

Australian Christmas retail sales are predicted to exceed $60 billion, despite the impact of inflation and cost of living problems, according to research from the National Retailers Association (NRA).

Covering the pre and post-Christmas shopping periods, that figure would represent a 3.9 per cent increase over last year.

Quoting the organisation’s Consumer Sentiment Report, interim NRA CEO Lindsay Carroll said buyers are preparing for the holiday shopping season by modifying their spending habits in order to afford Christmas events and gifts.

“It’s clear people still want to feel special and have those great experiences but rather than indulging in costly goods and services, shoppers are planning ahead to score bargains in the upcoming sales events,” she said. 

Meanwhile, the Australia Retail Association (ARA) says Australian retail sales increased 12.9 per cent in October compared to the same time last year, with sales climbing 28.2 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.

“Retail performance this year continues to be outstanding, despite a dramatic drop in consumer confidence due to inflation,” said Paul Zahra, ARA CEO. 

Zahra said the Delta lockdowns of a year ago were a “driving factor” in the surge, and predicted the “strong sales momentum” is encouraging for the most important retail trade season of the year, Christmas.

Online retail anticipates another “strong” year of growth due to shifting consumer behaviour and the growing appeal of occasions like Cyber Monday. People want to finish their holiday shopping before December, and bargain sales events are becoming more common, enabling customers to research products and make purchases at any time and from any location.

Carroll said retailers should be encouraged that there are still customers out there willing to spend their money this season – “but more than ever they are looking for bargains, for great shopping experiences and for smooth transactions,” she said. 

However, once the Christmas festivities are over, the ARA forecasts sales will fall next year. The most pressing trading difficulties for retail right now, he said, are debilitating workforce shortages and managing ongoing supply-chain disruptions.