A record $21 billion is forecast to be spent in stores and online across the country during the post-Christmas sales.
The forecast by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan would mean an increase of 2.1 per cent on last year and a 12.6 per cent increase on pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
Paul Zahra, CEO ARA, said the strong momentum in the lead up to Christmas is predicted to continue into the new year.
“It’s great to see people out and about in great numbers enjoying some retail therapy after another year disrupted by Covid. We’re continuing to see a lot of pent-up demand for shopping after the Delta lockdowns. We’ve experienced a record-breaking Black Friday with sales exceeding expectations, and that’s provided businesses with strong momentum for this critical trading period.”
Zahra said despite the positive expectation, retailers would face challenges with staff shortages and ongoing supply chain issues, which may have an impact on the ability of retailers to expediate their financial recovery.
“We are working closely with government to ensure that any barriers to recovery are solved as quickly as possible.”
Hospitality and the clothing, footwear, and accessories category are expected to have the biggest increases on 2020, with a forecast 10.7 per cent and 6.9 per cent growth in the two areas.
Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, said the post-Christmas retail sales are expected to hit record highs as consumers enjoy the benefit of high vaccination rates.
“Australians have rolled up their sleeves in record numbers over the last few months and with around 90 per cent of all Australians aged 16+ now fully vaccinated, retailers are set to enjoy a bumper post-Christmas period with over $21 billion in retail sales expected – a new record high.”