Christmas sales should meet forecasts, says NRA

The National Retail Association (NRA) says the ‘strong’ retail sales for November 2018 suggest Christmas sales will hit forecasts.

It made the announcement after the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its latest Retail Trade report.

The report showed an increase in turnover of 0.4 per cent (seasonally adjusted). Based on this figure, the NRA says it expects sales for the Christmas trade period to ‘align’ with its forecast of a $50-billion-plus spend.

Black Friday effect?

NRA Deputy CEO Lindsay Carroll says the figures are welcome news after a quiet period for much of 2018.

“November is a busy month for retail with events such as Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” she said. “As well as the start of the Christmas trade period midway through the month.

“The ABS figures indicate a strong sales performance for retail in November. They align with the NRA forecast of a $50 billion spend for the Christmas trade period.

“Household Goods, along with Clothing, Footwear and Personal Accessories recorded the biggest increases. This can be attributed in large part to the Black Friday sales.

“While retail has certainly had busier years than 2018, the November figures bode well for Christmas sales. We anticipate even stronger figures for the month of December.”

Online on the up

Online retail turnover also saw a big rise in sales with a turnover of 6.6 per cent. This was an increase of 5.9 per cent on the October results.

“Retail turnover from online sales continues to increase at a high rate,” Ms Carroll said. “Buying online is a convenient option for many shoppers.

“Although online sales are increasing at a steady rate, we certainly don’t think it the end of bricks-and-mortar retail. Online turnover still only accounts for less than nine per cent of total retail sales. And many retailers offer an online channel that complements their physical store.”

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