The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, said that with Christmas done and dusted for another year the focus of consumers would now turn to hunting out bargains, with the ARA estimating that Australians will spend $2.53bn today to kick off the annual post-Christmas retail sales period.
Announcing Boxing Day retail forecasts from Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall, Mr Zimmerman said the ARA predicted spending across Australia would rise despite the sluggish year the retail sector had experienced, and added that queues of people eager to strike early to find a good deal suggested a good start to post-Christmas sales.
“We think retail sales for Boxing Day 2019 will top $2.5bn, which is 2.86% up on 2018,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Because the growth in online sales means people can basically start shopping for Boxing Day bargains the moment shops close on Christmas Eve now, that would be a reasonably solid result,” he added.
Mr Zimmerman said the ARA expected to see strong demand on Boxing Day for clothing and footwear items, as well as homewares and electrical goods, and said the rising popularity of gift cards meant many consumers would be out and about looking to spend the vouchers they had received as Christmas presents.
“These categories have performed strongly in Boxing Day sales in recent years, and we expect to see that trend continue as shoppers get out today looking for a great post-Christmas deal,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Mr Zimmerman said the effect of big recent retail events on today’s takings – Singles’ Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Click Frenzy – remained to be seen, but said today should be fairly solid for retailers nonetheless.
“My message to all retailers, very simply, is look after the customer: make sure they get help if they need it, understand what they’re looking for, and upsell, upsell, upsell where possible,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman singled out South Australia – which has historically been the most restrictive in terms of permitting Boxing Day trade – for praise, saying ongoing moves by the Marshall government to liberalise trading hours would help retailers against a backdrop of difficult conditions that have been well documented during 2019.
“In the face of softer than ideal conditions, and facing competition from online merchants, retailers need all the help they can get – and letting them trade when consumers actually want to shop is a good thing,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman said the traditional Boxing Day “stampede” was great for consumers hunting bargains, and said he hoped Australians would support local retailers as they sought to capitalise on iconic Boxing Day sales.
Mr Zimmerman said annual ARA/Roy Morgan post-Christmas forecasts were the only professionally researched industry predictions in Australia, and said today’s forecasts offered a comprehensive preview of retail trade after Boxing Day.
ARA Boxing Day 2019 sales predictions December 26, 2019
ARA Roy Morgan Post-Christmas Sales Predictions
December 26 2019 – January 15 2020
Forecast 2019-2020 Post-Christmas Sales Growth, by Category
Forecast 2019-2020 Post-Christmas Sales Growth, by State
For more Christmas predictions, visit www.australian-retailers-association.com/christmas-predictions