Shoppers to spend $45 billion in pre-Christmas retail sales
Peak retail industry body the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has found retailers will be able to count on some steady improvement in retail sales over the Christmas period, based on 2014 pre-Christmas sales predictions prepared by the ARA and research partner Roy Morgan Research.
ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said shoppers would spend a whopping $45 billion from 15 November until 24 December, representing a 4.3 percent gain on sales during the same period in 2013 ($43 billion).
“The 4.3 percent growth may result in shoppers starting their Christmas shopping a little earlier this year, rather than leaving it until late December,” Mr Zimmerman said. “However, we also know that the week before Christmas will remain the busiest time for pre-Christmas shopping, and therefore the most profitable time for retailers,” he said.
Food, hospitality, household goods expected to grow
Mr Zimmerman said that the ARA was expecting the hospitality, food and household goods categories to experience higher levels of growth this Christmas than apparel.
“This comes as no surprise as department stores and clothing, footwear and personal accessories usually rely on last minute Christmas promotions for any significant growth in sales during the festive season,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Growth by States and Territories
“Looking at the states and territories, the ARA is pleased that all are expected to see growth of between 1.2 percent (WA) and 6.1 percent (NSW), apart from the ACT which may experience a slight decline in sales of -0.4 per cent,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“This time last year the ARA forecasted $42.2 billion would go through retail tills during the pre-Christmas trading period and this figure was later confirmed at an actual pre-Christmas spend of $43 billion,” Mr Zimmerman said. “The ARA’s forecast was almost bang on, and while concerns remain over consumer confidence and low jobs growth, it’s fairly safe to say the retail industry is optimistic for a cracker Christmas this year,” he said.