Australians are expected to drop $20.5 billion in the remaining 10 days to Christmas, according to the National Retail Association.
“[We’re] expecting the shopping frenzy to really ramp up as we kick-off the 10-day Christmas countdown,” NRA boss Dominique Lamb said.
“Although there is a growing trend that sees consumers knocking off Christmas shopping earlier than in previous years, the final 10 days is still a frantic time for retailers across the country.”
Lamb added that online delivery delays have pushed more customers in-store to get their hands on their preferred presents, providing a much needed boost to CBD retailers that have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic’s movement restrictions.
Despite that, the NRA is predicting online spend will grow 18 per cent over the next 10 days to $2 billion.
Alongside the growth in sales and customer numbers, however, has also come an increase in abusive customers.
“Please remember to be patient and polite towards retail staff. It’s the busiest time of year for retailers, with many working at capacity, so please keep the Christmas spirit in mind and treat them with patience,” said Lamb.
Last month, Victorian retailers saw a spike in customer abuse, leaving many retail staff fearful of returning to work, with Lamb noting threatening behaviour toward retail staff in the state had grown 85 per cent year on year.
Lamb’s comments come after a Dymocks employee was knocked unconscious and pushed down an escalator recently, and a Vinnies in Melbourne was defaced with human faeces after staff enforced the Government’s vaccine rules.
“Retail workers are not the police or trained security personnel. A 19-year-old part-time worker in a book shop or a grocery store doesn’t have it in their job description to deal with physical confrontation – and nor should they,” Lamb said.