ARA Forecasts $45 Billion Christmas Sales Boost

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The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) expects a pre-Christmas sales surge, forecasting shoppers are set to spend $45 billion from November 15 up until December 24.Sales will be up 4.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the predictions prepared by the ARA and research partner Roy Morgan Research, with the household goods and department stores categories to each record strong growth.

Household goods will see a 4.4 per cent lift in sales and department stores will see sales rise 3.2 per cent, according to the research.

The forecast comes in the wake of strong September retail sales figures, while the Reserve Bank of Australia has maintained interest rates at a record low 2.5 per cent.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman stated shoppers may start their Christmas shopping earlier this year, with the week before Christmas to remain the busiest and most profitable time for retailers.

“Delving further into the ARA/Roy Morgan figures we are expecting the hospitality, food and household goods categories to experience higher levels of growth this Christmas than apparel,” Zimmerman commented.

“This comes as no surprise as department stores and clothing, footwear and personal accessories usually rely on last-minute Christmas promotions for any significant growth in sales during the festive season.”

The ARA expects to see growth across most states and territories, with NSW (predicted growth of 6.1 per cent) and Tasmania (5.9 per cent) leading the charge.

Victoria is expected to post growth of 4.4 per cent, Queensland 3.9 per cent, the Northern Territory 3.2 per cent, South Australia 2.9 per cent, and Western Australia 1.2 per cent, with the Australian Capital Territory forecast to see a 0.4 per cent decline in sales.

“This time last year, the ARA forecasted $42.2 billion would go through retail tills during the pre-Christmas trading period, and this figure was later confirmed at an actual pre-Christmas spend of $43 billion,” Zimmerman commented.

“The ARA’s forecast was almost bang on, and while concerns remain over consumer confidence and low jobs growth, it’s fairly safe to say the retail industry is optimistic for a cracker Christmas this year.”

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