Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Post-Christmas sales to reach record $21bn

A record $21 billion is expected to be spent in stores and online across the country in post-Christmas sales – an increase of 2.1% on the previous year and up 12.6% on pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to forecasts released today by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in conjunction with Roy Morgan, which show a strong trading period from Boxing Day through to mid-January.

Australians are forecasted to spend $2.9 billion in hospitality over the festive period – up 10.7% on the previous year, the strongest growth of any category. While clothing, footwear and accessories are expected to continue to bounce back strongly across the country, up 6.9%.

There is strong sales growth forecasted for Tasmania, up 8.6% and Victoria, up 6.6% on the previous year.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra says retailers have strong momentum in the lead up to Christmas which is predicted to continue into the new year.

“It’s great to see people out and about in great numbers enjoying some retail therapy after another year disrupted by Covid. We’re continuing to see a lot of pent-up demand for shopping after the Delta lockdowns. We’ve experienced a record-breaking Black Friday with sales exceeding expectations, and that’s provided businesses with strong momentum for this critical trading period,” he says.

“Our post-Christmas sales forecasts measure retail trade from Boxing Day through to January 15, and pleasingly retailers are expected to top last year’s record with over $21 billion set to be spent – up 2.1%. All retail categories have recorded an increase in spending on last year, apart from Food, which is down slightly and not surprising given more people will be out socialising this year. Hospitality is set to thrive as a result – up 10.7% on last year’s post-Christmas period when the Covid threat was more severe, and the vaccines were yet to be rolled out.

“The Boxing Day sales are a key event on the retail calendar and with the states and territories staying committed to their reopening plans, we can look forward to a bumper trading period.

“However, challenges remain with staff shortages and ongoing supply chain issues, which may have an impact on the ability of retailers to expediate their financial recovery. We are working closely with government to ensure that any barriers to recovery are solved as quickly as possible.”

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says the post-Christmas retail sales are expected to hit new record highs this year as consumers enjoy the benefit of high vaccination rates.

“Australians have rolled up their sleeves in record numbers over the last few months and with around 90% of all Australians aged 16+ now fully vaccinated, retailers are set to enjoy a bumper post-Christmas period with over $21 billion in retail sales expected – a new record high,” she says.

“Australians have saved up many dollars over the last two years that they’ve been prevented from spending due to lockdowns, border closures and other restrictions on travel. While there still exists some uncertainty about travel conditions over the next few months, the loosened restrictions around the country do provide an opportunity for retailers looking to maximise their revenues and tap into what is forecast to be a record summer retailing period.”

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