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Shoppers to spend big in pre Christmas frenzy

If you’ve left your Christmas shopping until the last moment, you’re in good company.

Australian shoppers are expected to make a collective mad rush to retailers this week, with the National Retail Association forecasting a shopping frenzy as customers scramble to finalise (or for many, begin) their shopping.

And they’re expected to arrive at retailers with wallets open – to the tune of a $2 billion per day spend predicted in the days leading to the big day.

In the seven days leading to December 25, we’re expected to shell out $14 billion across grocery and non-food items.

Although it seems many may have already bagged their Christmas bargains in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales last month, which saw a huge increase in the number of people taking advantage of the once traditionally American sale period to the tune of $5 billion in sales across the four days.

Sales for the total Christmas trade period, considered to be mid-November to the end of December, are expected to reach $50.1 billion.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the anticipated pre-Christmas sales follows a sluggish year for retail sales.

“After an underwhelming year for retail, the Christmas trade period has so far proven to be a welcome relief,” Ms Lamb said.

“Although there is a growing trend that sees consumers knocking off Christmas shopping earlier than in previous years, the final week is still the most frantic time for retailers across the country with $2 billion spent per day.”

Many retailers and shopping centres are banking on the extra spend, extending their trading hours in the countdown to December 25.

Despite the prediction, it’s still a subdued forecast, with consumers set for their lowest Christmas retail spend in six years.

But, according to research from Monash University Business School’s Australian Consumer and Retail Studies, retailers who go the extra mile to lure customers into stores and make for an easier shopping experience will see the pay off this year.

And with close to three quarters of us (71%) still preferring to shop in store, the research could prove crucial to retailers with the ACRS finding store layouts and crowd management can make or break a customer’s decision to stay in store and spend or look elsewhere.

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