Singles’ Day banks $US25 billion … State-by-state Christmas spending predictions revealed … SMEs urged to review contract terms

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Chinese retail giant Alibaba has yet again generated record spending during its Singles’ Day sales event, banking $US25 billion ($32.7 billion) in 24 hours.

Forbes reports the retail platform recorded a 40% increase in sales this year, with 140,000 brands taking part in the retail event.

The online sales event included an evening gala counting down to the event’s kickoff on November 11, which saw the likes of Nicole Kidman take to Alibaba’s elaborate live stage in celebration of the sale.

Christmas spending tipped to reach $48 billion

The National Retail Association (NRA) has revealed sales predictions for the festive period, with Australian shoppers expected to spend close to $50 billion between now and the end of the year.

New South Wales is predicted to lead the pack, expected to rake in $15.9 billion between now and December 31, followed by Victoria at $12.9 billion. Across the nation, $48 billion in revenue is expected to be generated over the next six weeks.

NRA chief executive Dominique Lamb said on Friday customers are looking for the best in-store experience possible in the lead-up to Christmas.

“They will be looking for a more individualised service that provides a more immersive retail experience, rather than simply a Christmas shopping chore,” Lamb said.

Businesses warned to check contracts

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has called on businesses to understand their rights now that small business contract protections have been in place for one year.

The new contract protections aim to remove the ability of one party to have the power to change the terms of the contract without the other party having a say.

The consumer watchdog has already launched successful court action against business contracts suspected of containing unfair clauses, and says small businesses should read contracts carefully to ensure they comply with the legislation.

This includes looking out for automatic renewal clauses, terms allowing one party to unilaterally increase prices, and terms that let one party in a contract cancel the arrangement without agreement.

Read the ACCC’s guide to the new rules here.

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