Doms Column

Last week the NRA unveiled our sales projections for the Christmas trade period.

For the first time ever, we can forecast that Australians are set to splurge over $50 billion on retail sales between now and Christmas.

The festive season is not only the busiest time of the year for retail, but it is also the most vital. Smaller businesses in particular rely on holiday sales to navigate the quieter parts of the year and 2018 has certainly been a relatively slow year for retail.

Overall it is projected to be a Merry Christmas for retail across the nation, with increased sales forecast in all states and territories. It is predicted the biggest increase on 2017 sales will occur in Victoria (rise of 7 per cent) while New South Wales will again record the highest raw spend.

We expect that personalization will continue to be a major feature during the 2018 Christmas period, with shoppers now placing a far higher premium on experiential shopping rather than simply the physical items they purchase. So, if you haven’t already, start thinking outside the box for ways you can entice shoppers into your store over the coming weeks!

In less fortunate news, last Thursday administrators announced that they had been unsuccessful in finding a buyer for clothing retailer Roger David.

Roger David was a much-loved brand and it is sad to see them go, as it is when any retailer (big or small) is forced to close their doors. Our thoughts are particularly with the 500 employees around Australia who have lost their jobs.

This has again led some to suggest that online retail, particularly via digital goliaths such as Amazon, will spell the end of bricks and mortar retailers.

However, a bit of perspective is needed by those offering doom and gloom predictions.

It should be noted that although online sales continue to experience strong growth, it still only makes up a fraction of all retail spend. Moreover, the bulk of online sales are done via retailers who primarily operate bricks and mortar stores, and not outlets such as Amazon who sell exclusively online.

Furthermore, a Deloitte Report shows that 83% of retailers do not think that Amazon will have any impact on their Christmas sales.

Having said that, depending on what type of retail environment you operate in, careful consideration should be given to adding an online channel (if you haven’t already) in addition to your physical store.

With the Christmas trade period having now officially kicked off, we wish you all the best and welcome any feedback you have throughout the festive season.

The NRA’s full Christmas trade projections can be found summarised in the table below:

STATE 2017 Spend 2018 Forecast Spend % Increase from 2017
NSW $15.5 Billion $16.41 Billion 6%
VIC $12.33 Billion $13.2 Billion 7%
QLD $9.24 Billion $9.6 Billion 4%
SA $3.13 Billion $3.3 Billion 5%
WA $5.08 Billion $5.24 Billion 3%
TAS $942.8 Million $990 Million 5%
NT $415.95 Million $433 Million 4%
ACT $862.5 Million $897 Million 4%
TOTAL $47.5 Billion $50.07 Billion 5.4%


  2017 Spend 2018 Forecast Spend % Increase from 2017
Pure-play Online $901 Million $1.2 Billion 31%
Multi-Channel Online $1.5 Billion $2 Billion 35%
TOTAL $2.4 Billion $3.2 Billion 33%

For further information on any queries you may have regarding the Christmas trade period, please do not hesitate to contact the NRA at 1800 RETAIL (738 245).