Dominique Lamb Message spend

I’d like to start my column this week by expressing my condolences to all those affected by the bushfires that have ravaged numerous parts of the country.

There is never a good time to experience the devastating impact of a natural disaster, but with just over a month until Christmas the holiday season will be far from a merry one for communities affected by these blazes.

The most important thing of course, in the first instance, is that those in the middle of these dreadful bushfires survive with their safety intact.

If you are part of one of the areas that has (or still is) battling fires, the NRA has resources available on how to navigate the tragedy. With the crisis far from over, and weather conditions primed for further blazes, we’ve taken the opportunity to provide information on recovering from a natural disaster. We have compiled on our website a list of resources for Australian retailers in this difficult time.

Again, our thoughts are with all of those affected by these terrible events. Those of you who have also had your retail business impacted, whether directly from the fires or through a loss of clientele, please don’t hesitate to contact the NRA for any information you may need to get back up on your feet.

On a separate note, the NRA will later this week unveil our sales forecasts for the Christmas trade period. Without giving anything away, we are starting to notice changing trends in how Australians shop at Christmas.

For instance, more and more shoppers are starting to do their Christmas shopping in November rather than December. The rise in popularity of online shopping, combined with sales events such as Black Friday, saw sales surge in the penultimate month of the year in 2018 and we expect this trend to continue this year.

Hopefully many of you are already starting to see an uptake in sales as shoppers wind down for the year and turn their attention to the festive season. After a challenging year for retail, a bumper Christmas harvest would be a most welcome present.

All the best for the week ahead!