Thursday, May 30, 2024

Christmas wrap

Australians are expected to spend $35 billion in the lead-up to Christmas, according to the Retail Council Christmas Spending Index.

Retail Council CEO Anna McPhee says this year’s forecasts indicate retail is in a slightly stronger position to build on last year’s performance and is on target to contribute more than 4.5 per cent to Australia’s GDP.

The Retail Council has been releasing the Christmas Spending Index since 2008.

“Online purchases continue to be an important part of the retail offering, particularly at Christmas, and are expected to make up around 16 per cent of total sales over the period,” Ms McPhee said.

The Retail Council recently surveyed shoppers on Christmas shopping intentions and found a majority of shoppers plan to do most of their Christmas shopping in the coming weeks and shop right up to Christmas Eve.

“In the week to Sunday we are projecting total sales of $5.25 billion as shoppers turn their thoughts to Christmas preparations,” Ms McPhee said. “Sales are expected to build week on week to December 24

Toys and games lead charge

New research by the Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan Research indicates that this year’s favourite stocking stuffers will be kids’ outdoor games and toys, closely followed by indoor games and toys.

“This week marks the beginning of what we expect to be a crazy couple of months for retailers and shopping centres,” ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said.

“The ARA expects spending on toys to spike significantly in the coming weeks, as ‘Santa’, along with parents and family stock up on Christmas gifts for the kids.”

Compared with the rest of the year, in the festive shopping period between November 2014 and January 2015, kids’ outdoor games and toys attracted a 143 per cent increase in sales, with indoor game and toy sales growing by 123 per cent.

For the big kids among us, products with the strongest growth for the period were women’s dresses, up by 101 per cent, men’s trousers, shorts and pants, also up 101 per cent, and perfume and aftershave, up 77 per cent.

“For adults this Christmas, we’ll see a rise in products generally seen as traditional gift purchases, such as apparel and perfume, while electronics and technology are also predicted to be a money-spinner for retailers this Christmas,” Mr Zimmerman said.

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