Retail sales increase


With 50 shopping days until Christmas, the National Retail Association (NRA) has today released its pre-Christmas and Boxing day trade projections which show that Australians are poised to spend more than a billion dollars a day during the busiest trading period for the year.

Retail sales increase

The pre-Christmas and Boxing Day trade period runs from the final two weeks of November right up to New Year’s Eve – a total of 46 days – and the NRA is forecasting a $46.5 billion bonanza for the period.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said consumers were poised to set a spending record in 2016, with a four per cent increase on last year’s figures, even though retail has experienced a slow year.

“After a quiet start to the year, due in large part to the federal election, spending in retail has steadily picked up and we are predicting Australian’s to spend more than a billion dollars a day during the pre-Christmas and Boxing Day trade period,” Ms Lamb said.

“The Reserve Bank’s decision to maintain interest rates at a record low 1.5 per cent over the last few months has helped to slowly bring consumer confidence back and this has helped put retail in a solid position leading into Christmas.”

The NRA is also projecting every state and territory to enjoy an increase in retail spending, with particularly strong gains in Queensland and New South Wales.

“These figures show that the retail sector is in for a solid and reliable Christmas period, with an increase in spending in every state and territory that should help to carry retailers through the quieter parts of 2017.

“In specific sectors, we are expecting speciality items and apparel to continue their strong performance of late, and we are confident that department stores will rebound after a sluggish first half to 2016,” she said.

New South Wales consumers are set to spend over $15 billion; while Victoria will be the second highest spending state at a tick under $12 billion.

The biggest increase is expected in Queensland, which is on track for an increase of 6 per cent at over $9.3 billion, due in large part to a number of retail laws being relaxed throughout the state in the lead up to Christmas.

Western Australia and South Australia are expected to record steady increases with $5.2 billion and $3 billion respectively; while there will be solid gains in the Northern Territory and ACT with spending to come in at $430 million and $840 million.

Tasmania is expected to crack the $900 million mark for the first time.

“Today’s Christmas forecast is good news for retailers around the country, who can rely on solid sales throughout the busy Christmas period,” she said.