After spending a record amount on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, Australians are expected to spend a further $21 billion (US$15 billion) across the country after Christmas.
The Australian Retailers Association and Roy Morgan released a forecast, that argues that Australians will back this up with a strong trading period between Boxing Day and Jan. 15. If realised, it would be an increase of 2.1 percent on the previous year and up 12.6 percent from 2019, prior to the pandemic.
“We’re continuing to see a lot of pent-up demand for shopping after the Delta lockdowns,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said. “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.”
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said Australians have saved up a lot of money as a result of lockdowns and other restrictions preventing their ability to spend.
“While there still exists some uncertainty about travel conditions over the next few months, the loosened restrictions around the country do provide an opportunity for retailers looking to maximise their revenues and tap into what is forecast to be a record summer retailing period,” she said.
The ARA had initially forecasted that Australians would spend $5.4 billion during the Black Friday sales weekend. The National Australia Bank (NAB) estimated that actual spending numbers hit around $8 billion, smashing expectations.
“The Boxing Day sales are a key event on the retail calendar and with the states and territories staying committed to their reopening plans, we can look forward to a bumper trading period,” Zahra said.
However, he warned that challenges with staff shortages and the ongoing supply chain issues remained, which may impact the ability of retailers to financially bounce back faster.
“We are working closely with the government to ensure that any barriers to recovery are solved as quickly as possible,” Zahra said.
The biggest jump in post-Christmas spending is expected to be in hospitality, up 10.7 percent or $2.9 billion compared to last year. Clothing, footwear, and accessories is also expected to bounce back strongly, up 6.9 percent.
“We’ve talked so much about the pivot to digital but it’s clear that the groundwork laid by businesses over the past two years has positioned them well to capitalise on these sales events,” NABs Group Executive Andrew Irvine said.
“For so many of us though, nothing beats the actual experience of walking into a store and being able to try out the product in person.”