Christmas spend on the mark

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan Research official figures for Christmas spending in the pre-Christmas trading period for November 15 to December 25, 2015 have come in at $47 billion – 4.2 per cent up on that of Christmas 2014.

The ARA and Roy Morgan annual Christmas spend figures released in November predicted Aussies would spend $46.8 billion for a 3.6 per cent increase and, although incredibly close, consumers managed to outspend these estimates by $200 million.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman says the figure is a fantastic result for the industry, with Christmas being retail’s biggest and busiest trading period.

“Our expectations were not only met, but were exceeded last Christmas,” he said.

“While the vast majority of retailers received a year-on-year boost over Christmas, it’s important to note that there were some pockets, particularly in the smaller independent sector that our surveys show may have missed out on the spending joy.”

Overall, all but two states – Queensland and Western Australia – outperformed ARA’s predictions. Both of these states have been affected by a slowdown of the mining sector.

“It became clear about midway through the six-week pre-Christmas period that there may be a slightly smaller increase in WA and Queensland,” Mr Zimmerman said. “Despite this, though, both states maintained a small level of growth and neither stood still.”

As predicted, Victorian pre-Christmas spending saw the highest growth in 2015, up 5.8 per cent, followed by NSW and Tasmania, both with 4.8 per cent growth.

Category-wise, household goods sales took the lead in the growth stakes, rising 6.3 per cent on pre-Christmas 2014, followed by apparel with 5.3 per cent.

Online was also robust for the period, with total spend on e-commerce pre-Christmas standing at $3.1 billion.

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