Shoppers tipped to spend $50bn-plus this Christmas

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan Research’s Annual Pre-Christmas Sales Predictions indicate shoppers will spend more than $50 billion in Australia’s retail stores over the Christmas trading period from November 15 to December 24.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman says that although the Australian retail industry has been struggling over the past few months, Australian consumers are expected to spend 2.8 per cent more on Christmas this year, compared with the same period in 2016.

“While the latest retail-trade figures have shown a considerable decline, our combined Christmas sales forecast with Roy Morgan demonstrate that Christmas sales will be a little bit better than recent figures,” he said. “Unfortunately, this estimate is still well below the 4-5 per cent growth that retailers would like to see this Christmas.

Food and liquor retailers are expected to attract increased trade this Christmas with the ARA and Roy Morgan predicting a 3.27 per cent rise from 2016 sales. Although soft by Christmas standards, these figures remain reasonably strong.

With the Christmas season centred around quality time with family and friends, sales for restaurant and café retailers should also rise this year with the hospitability category expected to grow by a modest 2.89 per cent.

As online retailing continues to grow, online gift purchases are predicted to increase by 3.96 per cent.

“We expect Australian shoppers to purchase most of their gifts online this year,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“There may have been a lot of change throughout the industry this year, but one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that Australians love Christmas, as Christmas is the season of giving.”

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