The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is expecting shoppers to spend $45 billion during this year’s pre-Christmas period.
The ARA and research partner Roy Morgan Research are predicting that retailers will see a 4.3 per cent rise in sales from 15 November until 24 December, compared with the same period in 2013 ($43 billion).
“The 4.3 per cent growth may result in shoppers starting their Christmas shopping a little earlier this year, rather than leaving it until late December,” said ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman. “However, we also know that the week before Christmas will remain the busiest time for pre-Christmas shopping, and therefore the most profitable time for retailers.”
The retail industry body expects profit levels in hospitality, food and household goods categories to rise higher than apparel this pre-Christmas period.
“This comes as no surprise as department stores and clothing, footwear and personal accessories usually rely on last minute Christmas promotions for any significant growth in sales during the festive season,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Looking at the states and territories, the ARA is pleased that all are expected to see growth of between 1.2 per cent (WA) and 6.1 per cent (NSW), apart from the ACT which may experience a slight decline in sales of -0.4%.”
The ARA last year predicted the retail industry would see customers spend $42.2 billion during the pre-Christmas trading period, an estimate that came close to the $43 billion result.
“The ARA’s forecast was almost bang on, and while concerns remain over consumer confidence and low jobs growth, it’s fairly safe to say the retail industry is optimistic for a cracker Christmas this year,” Mr Zimmerman said.=