Australians are expected to spend $54,437 per minute in online sales over the six weeks to Christmas this year, with total online spend to hit $3.6 billion – a 22.5 per cent increase on 2018’s sales, according to the National Retail Association.
Pureplay online players are expected to see sales increase 18 per cent to $1.3 billion this year, while omnichannel retailers will see a 27 per cent increase to $2.3 billion.
National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb said she expects retailers that offer a unique in-store experience, coupled with a savvy online sales avenue, to perform well this holiday season.
“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 driving in modern retail offer interactive services that engage shoppers in new and exciting ways,” Lamb said.
“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.”
In total, Australian retail is expected to see $50.1 billion in sales, 3 per cent above 2018’s figure of $48.6 billion, according to the NRA.
The NRA’s headline figure is below the Australian Retailers Association’s expectations – which was down in the previous year – signalling a potentially muted holiday period for retailers.
Earlier this week, the ARA posited total holiday spend would reach almost $53 billion – a 2.6 per cent growth on 2018’s figures, down on the 2.9 per cent growth expected last year.
This growth is expected to be the result of what has been a turbulent year in retail, as well as the effects of catastrophic bushfires burning across Australia.
“Thousands of our members – their families, their employees, their communities – are located outside major cities in areas threatened by disasters like this, so we know many of them and feel for them all,” outgoing executive director of the ARA Russell Zimmerman said.
NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said 476 homes had been destroyed so far, compared to the 37 destroyed last year, according to the ABC.
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