The National Retail Association (NRA) has unveiled its Christmas sales forecasts, revealing that shoppers are to splurge more than $50,000 per minute in online purchases as part of a $50 billion spend across all retail.
The Christmas trade period – encompassing the second-half of November and all of December – is the busiest time on the retail calendar, with blockbuster sales events as consumers stampede to the shops.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that a large portion of successful modern retailers are utilising both in-store and digital avenues to maximise revenue.
“Last week kicked off the official Christmas and Boxing Day trade period and it’s set to be another blockbuster holiday season with shoppers reaching for their wallets to stock up on presents, fresh food and paraphernalia,” Ms Lamb said.
“The NRA is forecasting another record spend this Christmas, with breakthrough sales across both bricks & mortal and online retail.
“Shoppers are set to splurge an average of $54,347 per minute in online sales alone, with digital events such as Cyber Monday enticing Aussies with bargain prices. The total digital spend will reach $3.6 billion over the six weeks.
“But there will also still be plenty of action in traditional, physical stores with total retail spend forecast to easily surpass the $50 billion barrier. Consumers will again stampede shopping centres in the lead up to Christmas, and Boxing Day will remain another signature event on the industry calendar.
“We anticipate that this holiday season will see businesses who offer a unique in-store experience, coupled with a savvy online sales avenue, to be the ones who really break new ground.”
Each state and territory is forecast to record an increased spend on 2018 figures, with an increase of 3 per cent nationwide. Ms Lamb also noted that new trends in modern retail are seeing businesses being forced to keep pace with changing customer behaviour.
“It’s a vital time of year for retailers across the nation. A bumper Christmas harvest not only has a positive impact on the bottom-line, it can also help sustain many smaller operators during quieter periods,” Ms Lamb said.
“Customers are now placing a greater emphasis on their experience at the shops, and not only traditional factors such as quality and price. Those who are thriving in modern retail offer interactive services that engage shoppers in new and exciting ways.”