Mixed Easter basket of spending as retailers look to Mother’s Day for a boost
Tuesday, April 21, 2015/
Retail sales in the week before Easter were up compared to last year but down in the week after Easter, the latest instalment of the Australian Retail Index from BDO Australia shows.
The index show Australian consumers spent almost 20% less on items like furniture this Easter, compared to the previous week.
In a statement accompanying the index, BDO national retail lead partner Simon Scalzo said flat sales followed gains in February and March but are “typical of Easter sales patterns with retailers being affected by two public holidays and the short school holiday period”.
However, speaking to SmartCompany this morning, Scalzo said “the outlook for retail generally is positive”.
“Consumers do have more money to spend,” said Scalzo, pointing to lower interest rates and fuel prices.
Russell Zimmerman, the executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, says the inconsistent timing of Easter each year means the index should be viewed only as a benchmark for that period.
March and April are important months in being able to properly gauge consumer spending, Zimmerman told SmartCompany.
“There will always be things that’ll be stronger at certain times of the year,” Zimmerman says.
“Fashion (for example), is very weather-driven.”
Other examples include school shoes in January and men’s socks and jocks in September, Zimmerman says.
Looking ahead to Mother’s Day next month, Scalzo says consumer spending will be pretty consistent, with the biggest week-on-week spending happening in fashion and accessories, which increases by 20% in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, this year on May 10.
“We’ve always seen a spike of fashion and accessories (spending) in the week before Mother’s Day,” Scalzo told SmartCompany.
According to IBISWorld, the top things Australians bought for their mothers to celebrate Mother’s Day last year were meals at restaurants and cafes ($298 million in 2013), flowers ($193.4 million), cards and gift vouchers ($134.3 million) and jewellery ($121.7 million).
“Mother’s Day is a good time for jewellers,” Zimmerman says.
Zimmerman says the feedback he’s received is the retail index has been helpful as a benchmark over the past year.
“(It’s) obviously a guideline and that’s where it begins and ends,” he says.
Be honest about your situation: How vulnerability helps businesses thrive Sue Parker DARE Group founder
Own it: The 10 things you need to do to manage your personal brand Lisa Stephenson Who Am I Projects founder
Six invaluable lessons: What 20 years in aged care taught me about being an entrepreneur Natasha Chadwick NewDirection Care founder
An entrepreneurial superpower: Eight tips to help develop resilience Adala Bolto ZADI Training co-founder
Going through a lull? Five areas you should invest in when sales drop Tamara Alaveras and Sonia Majkic 3 Phase Marketing co-founders
Stop telling us how busy you are, it's boring and charmless Ian Whitworth Scene Change co-founder
Blandification™ and the state of modern branding Jeffrey Oley The Offices co-founder
Why you should find the right role for the right person — not the other way around Bruce Stronge Outfit founder