Dominique Lamb Message spend

Australians are set to spend more than $50 billion throughout the 2019 Christmas trade period, according to the NRA’s Christmas forecasts that we released last week.

It has been a trying year for retail and the busy holiday season could not have come quick enough. Throughout 2019 consumers have remained hesitant to open their wallets or purses despite measures such as cuts to income tax and several reductions to interest rates.

However, Christmas is a time of year when shoppers can be relied upon to splash some cash. Presents need to be purchased, houses will be decorated with Christmas trees and lights, and on the big day itself Aussies love to indulge in fresh food delights. Add to this bargain events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day and it’s safe to say we are going to see yet another strong sales period for retailers across the country.

Although 2019 will not go down as a particularly strong year for the retail sector, we’re optimistic that the holiday season will act as a circuit breaker that gets the economy moving again as we head into 2020.

Specifically, we’re forecasting increases across each state and territory during the Christmas trade period. The Eastern seaboard states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland will again record the highest spends. Overall, sales are set to increase by 3 per cent on last year’s Christmas figures.

Again, we will see a healthy increase in online sales, although this still only accounts for a fraction of total retail sales. Indeed, with omni-channel retailing becoming more prevalent, having both an in-store and online sales avenue is proving to be very beneficial for many retailers.

Meanwhile, eBay is predicting Black Friday – being held later this week on November 29 – will be the busiest day of the year for Australian shopping online. According to eBay, more than 2.6 million people will visit their site on Friday, with 5 gifts being purchased every second.

Interestingly, of all the visits to their site more than 1.9 million will be accessed via mobile devices. This further reflects a growing trend where in 2019 consumers can conduct shopping at times and places they previously were unable to do so, such as during a lunch break, riding public transport or while waiting for an appointment.

All the best for both the week ahead and the Christmas period. The NRA’s full list of Christmas trade forecasts is detailed in the below tables.


STATE 2018 Spend 2019 Forecast Spend % Increase from 2018
NSW $15.7 Billion $16.2 Billion 3%
VIC $12.9 Billion $13.4 Billion 4%
QLD $9.5 Billion $9.7 Billion 2%
SA $3.1 Billion $3.2 Billion 3%
WA $5.1 Billion $5.2 Billion 2%
TAS $976 Million $1 Billion 3%
NT $409 Million $421 Million 3%
ACT 900 Million $936 Million 4%
TOTAL $48.6 Billion $50.1 Billion 3%


ONLINE SALES 2018 Spend 2019 Forecast Spend % Increase from 2018
Pure-play Online $1.1 Billion $1.3 Billion 18%
Multi-Channel Online $1.8 Billion $2.3 Billion 27%
TOTAL $2.9 Billion $3.6 Billion 22.5%