Retail association predicts post-Christmas boom for retailers

The Australian Retailers Association predicts $14.8 billion in post-Christmas retail sales, marking a 1% increase from the $14.1 billion spent during the same time last year, with the bulk of the spending falling in food-related categories.

The forecast was compiled by Roy Morgan Research for the ARA and covers the period from Boxing Day through to mid-January.

The figures suggest consumers will literally be hungry for a post-Christmas bargain, with $6 billion of the total expected to be spent on food, along with a further $2 billion at cafes.

The ARA anticipates a further $6.8 billion in spending in the traditional non-food related categories, with Australians tipped to spend $2.5 billion on household goods, $1.1 billion on apparel and $1.1 billion in department stores.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman suggests while recent rate cuts have boosted consumer confidence, retailers should expect restrained spending from consumers during the post-Christmas period, particularly in non-food categories.

“This year’s post-Christmas sales period is predicted to be only very slightly higher than last year, which was predicted at $14.1 billion. Consumers have had a tough 2012 with the introduction of the carbon tax, a soaring cost of living and mortgage stress from high interest rates”, Zimmerman said in a statement.

The predictions also highlight the growing importance of online and mobile shopping, with consumers tipped to spend $2.1 billion online with Australian-based retailers. That figure excludes the amount Australians spend at overseas retailers over the internet.

“As we know, the festive sales period doesn’t just continue in the stores; there are also many shoppers who will be enjoying the sales from their lounge rooms; some retailers are even expected to start their sales online on Christmas Day,” Zimmerman says.

The figures also include a breakdown by state, with $4.5 billion to be spent in New South Wales, $3.7 billion in Victoria, $3 billion in Queensland, WA $1.8 billion in Western Australia, $1 billion in South Australia, $280 million in Tasmania, $276 million in the ACT and $164 million in the Northern Territory.

The ARA’s predictions of a slight year-on-year increase in post-Christmas spending come after Gerry Harvey predicted a string of retail collapses after Christmas.

As SmartCompany reported late last month, Harvey predicted the first half of 2013 would be very difficult for retailers during Harvey Norman’s annual general meeting, with the retail veteran suggesting that while there have been plenty of retail collapses, “there’s plenty more to go”.


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