Australian retail sales are set to crack $60 billion for the first time this festive season, with consumers confident to continue spending momentum despite cost of living challenges.

Insights from the National Retail Association shared today forecast Aussies to spend $60.6 billion in the pre and post-Christmas sales period (November 14 – December 31), which is up 3.9 percent on last year.

Interim CEO Lindsay Carroll said according to its Consumer Sentiment Report, shoppers are preparing for the bumper sales season by changing their spending behaviour to be able to afford special Christmas events and gifts.

“For shoppers conscious of their household budgets, the sales events are the ideal time to make Christmas purchases.

“We found 71 percent of Aussies are taking measures such as cutting back on day-to-day spending, seeking out discounts and offers or switching to cheaper brands to deal with increasing costs this season.

“With inflation and interest rates yet to take full effect, almost half of the consumers reported feeling confident and one in five plan to outspend last year.

“It’s clear people still want to feel special and have those great experiences but rather than indulging in costly goods and services, shoppers are planning ahead to score bargains in the upcoming sales events.”

Online retail is anticipating another strong year of growth due to evolving consumer behaviour and the growing popularity of events such as Cyber Monday.

“Consumers are wanting to tick off their Christmas shopping earlier than December, and bargain sales events such as Cyber Monday are becoming major events on the retail calendar, providing consumers with the accessibility to research and purchase items anytime, anywhere.

“Even though Boxing Day remains the biggest sales event of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are gaining momentum with 45 percent of consumers likely to purchase or will definitely purchase items at these events.”

While e-commerce is definitely here to stay and evolve, 50 percent of consumers reported that they prefer to spend in-store.

“Consumers still want those unique in-store retail experiences. They look for excellent customer service, with free delivery and returns, loyalty programs, and friendly staff ranked as the most important retailer services among consumers.”

Ms. Carroll said the Christmas season is the most crucial time of year for retailers.

“Businesses have been battling record levels of labour shortages and supply chain issues, but retail sales have been performing quite strongly in the lead-up to Christmas.

“What this means for retailers is that there are still customers out there willing to spend their money this season, but more than ever they are looking for bargains, great shopping experiences, and smooth transactions.

“The challenge for business owners and their staff is greater than ever to have the right products, the best service, and sharp pricing.”

Christmas trade forecast 3.9 per cent increase
STATE 2021 Spend ($ millions) 2022 Forecast Spend ($ millions)
NSW 18,306.25 19,020.19
VIC 15,437.40 16,039.46
QLD 11,824.10 12,285.24
SA 3,596.80 3,737.08
WA 6,443.05 6,694.00
TAS 1,178.10 1,224.05
NT 486.55 505.53
ACT 1,072.30 1,114.12
TOTAL 58,344.65 60,620.09

Methodology used to determine these numbers comprised a combination of ABS data, research conducted by the NRA and feedback received from members.

The National Retail Association is the voice of modern retail, representing more than 60,000 shopfronts nationwide. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast food sectors for close to 100 years.

For more information please contact the NRA’s media unit at [email protected]