Post-Christmas sales forecast up, but for some retailers the game is already on

Post-Christmas sales are forecast to be up 3.8% on the same period last year, with shoppers expected to hand over $15.1 billion from Boxing Day until mid-January.

The anticipated figure from the Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan is up on last year’s sales for the period of $14.8 billion.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said the predicted post-Christmas sales for last year were $14.6 billion, with actual sales better than forecast.

“Based on the actual figure of $14.6 billion, we now see an even larger percentage growth year on year at 3.8 percent – a positive sign for the retail sector,” he said.

In comparison to 2012, the forecast post-Christmas spend in cafes is predicted to grow the most, up 6.2% to $2.06 billion. Sales in the apparel sector are forecast to rise 3.9% to $1.14 billion and food sales are expected to jump 3.8% to $6.23 billion.

Department store spending is also forecast to rise by 2.8% to $1.06 billion, as well as household goods which are forecast to go up 2.8% to$2.53 billion.

“It is also great to see all states and territories predicted to experience positive growth this post-Christmas period, ranging from 2 percent (Western Australia) to 6.1 percent (Northern Territory),” he said.  

Zimmerman said many shoppers will buy online, with lots retailers starting their sales as early as Christmas Eve.

In fact, many have already begun to discount in the week before Christmas.

The Australian Financial Review reported today that a number of fashion apparel retailers have already begun to discount, including Cue, Saba, French Connection, Sussan and Portmans.

Department stores Myer and David Jones have also started to drop the price on selected items.

“We have sought to maintain [our] share of voice in this environment with selected, targeted offers,” a David Jones spokeswoman told the AFR.

The sales forecast will follow an expected boost in the pre-Christmas spending period, which is tipped to reach around $42.1 billion.

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