Retailers in every state except Western Australia will be hoping cool weather forces consumers into the shops for the Queen’s Birthday holiday to take advantage of the mid-season sales.
The annual start-of-winter sales are crucial to the profits of big retailers such as Myer and David Jones, which traditionally generate most of their profit in the second half of their financial year from their mid-year clearance sales.
This year, with most retailers battling falling sales and poor margins, the department stores have led the way by rolling out aggressive discounts and special offers as part of their sales.
The Queen’s Birthday holiday, celebrated on June 11 in every state and territory with the exception of Western Australia, comes at the start of the sale period and so has been aggressively targeted by many retailers as a big sales opportunity.
And this year they have a new reason for targeting the sales – new trading hour laws in South Australia.
The Queen’s Birthday holidays does not impose trading restrictions on retailers in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, ACT and the Northern Territory, while there are relatively few restrictions in Queensland’s populous south-east corner.
In these states and territories, trading hours will be similar to a weekend, running from 9.30am or 10am to 6pm, or later in some specific centres.
But the big change is in South Australia, where legislation passed in March this year means retailers in Adelaide’s central business district are now free to trade.
In South Australia’s Rundle Mall, retailers will be open from 11am to 5pm.