After a long and arduous 2019, we’ve finally entered the home straight, with Christmas just days away.

I’m sure all of you are run off your feet as shoppers across the country finalise their Christmas purchases. But as this is the last CEO column for the year, I do hope that you, your staff and your families all have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Although official sales figures won’t be known until early next year, much of the anecdotal evidence suggests that the Christmas trade period has not suffered from the low consumer confidence that has made 2019 a difficult one for retail.

Black Friday was a resounding success, with shopping centres across Australia observing a significant increase in foot traffic. The next week will of course be exceptionally busy. Indeed, the NRA is forecasting $14 billion to be spent nationwide in the seven days leading up to Christmas Day. Boxing Day is again set to be another big day, with shoppers keen to cash-in on post-Christmas bargains.

With extended trading hours in place across much of the country, make sure you take advantage of the more flexible opening and closing times. Many shoppers will look to make their Christmas purchases either earlier in the day or during the evening in order to avoid massive crowds.

Hopefully your business has experienced a prosperous Christmas trade period and any momentum generated is carried through into the New Year.

Have a great Christmas!