Australian shoppers will spend more than $50 billion in retail over the Christmas trading period with online shopping for gifts tipped to the see the biggest growth in retail.
It’s predicted that Australian consumers will spend 2.8% more on Christmas this year, compared to 2016, according to Roy Morgan Research and The Australian Retailers Association (ARA).
This is more positive than that the most recent retail figures released by the ABS which showed substantial sales decline; today’s Christmas sales forecast demonstrates that Christmas sales will be marginally better than recent figures. The biggest sales increase retailers will see is online gift purchases this Christmas shopping period, according to ARA.
“Unfortunately this estimate is still well below the 4-5% growth that retailers would like to see this Christmas,” says ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman. “As online retailing continues to grow, we predict online gift purchases to increase by 3.96%, and expect Australian shoppers to purchase most of their gifts online this year.”
Food and liquor retailers will also see a substantial trade this Christmas with the ARA and Roy Morgan predicting a 3.27% increase 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, restaurant and café retailers will also see an increase in sales this year as the hospitability category is expected to grow by a modest 2.89%.
Amongst the states, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania will have a considerable Christmas trade this year, with these three regions showing the strongest predicted growth across the country.
“Although we have seen retail sales slowly decline across all categories, we believe Christmas will see this year’s trade improve for many Australian retailers,” says Zimmerman.
“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 Australian’s love Christmas, as Christmas is the season of giving.”