It’s not all doom and gloom for retail this Christmas, as consumers set to part with $41 billion, Roy Morgan and ARA research indicates.
Retailers can now count on some “steady improvement” in sales numbers for the festive season, based on the predictions of Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Executive Director Russell Zimmerman.
A whopping $41.2 billion is predicted to go through retail tills from 14 November until Christmas Day -a 4% jump on last Christmas’ sales numbers which hit $39.7 billion.
Breaking it down, $7 billion will be spent on household goods (+ 0.8%), $2.9 billion on department stores (+ 2.7%), while the ‘Other’ category which includes consumer electronics is set to rise to $5.9 billion up 3.5%.
The news comes as it emerged today Myer sales rose 1% last quarter, buoyed by improved consumer sentiment on the back of an interest rate.
Gogole Australia also predicted this year would be the “biggest online Christmas yet” for online retail sales, as Click Frenzy’s one day bumper sale kicks off Next Tuesday November 20.
Zimmerman, however, reiterated his call on the Reserve for a December interest rate cut, ahead of the bumper spending season.
“Retailers are holding their collective breath for another interest rate cut in December, as they know this may give consumers the incentive they need to go out and get some of the Christmas shopping done in early December as well as the usual late December rush.”
“Some categories such as food and hospitality buoying up the projected figures, whereas categories which rely heavily on Christmas time sales such as apparel and department stores are posting less growth, which he says is ” a sign consumers still need relief.”
He also warned retail to up their game online.
“Given a lot of online access will include researching products, comparing prices and finding out where retailers are, it’s important retail businesses update their web presence as part of the festive preparations.”
Roy Morgan’s retail business confidence measure has steadily improved after a midyear downturn and is now tracking better over the last six months compared to the same time in 2011, another positive sign for retailers.
Roy Morgan figures also shows NSW retailers will coin $12.6 billion (up 3.8%), VIC $10.4 billion (up 3.2%), QLD $8.4 billion (up 4.4%), SA $2.8 billion (up 2.5%), WA $5 billion (up 6.7%), TAS $788 million (down 4.2%), NT $457 million (up 3.7%) and ACT $764 million (up 6.9%).