Pre-Christmas retail trade for 2021 is expected to remain stable year-over-year at $ 58 billion


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Australia’s largest retail organization, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), and its strategic partner Roy Morgan forecast this year’s pre-Christmas spending to be broadly in line with last year’s peak and significantly higher than pre-pandemic spending in 2019.

ARA-Roy Morgan 2021 pre-Christmas retail sales forecast forecasts aggregate spending to reach $ 58.8 billion, virtually unchanged from last year, but up 11.3% from conditions pre-pandemic.

“There is a lot of Christmas cheer in these numbers, with the overall trend looking positive, and that’s great news for small businesses and discretionary retailers who have suffered some of the longest lockdowns in the world this year. The Christmas trading season is critical as this is the time when most discretionary retailers are making up to two-thirds of their profits for the year, ”said Paul Zahra, CEO of ARA.

“Although ARA-Roy Morgan data predicts that the impact of Covid lockdowns will continue to suppress retail sales, year-end spending in NSW and Victoria will rebound strongly in December. And states unaffected by the lockdowns will benefit from a more gradual acceleration in sales growth until Christmas. The general trend is positive. “

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says this is good news for Australia: “Our sales forecast shows a country on the move; a consumer economy showing all the signs of pent-up demand.

“No one believed that spending this next Christmas could reach the heights of last year, but as people come out of the most punitive crisis in a hundred years, shoppers seek to reward themselves and their families.

“However, not all sales will be in-store. COVID’s 5-year digital acceleration means many more Australians are shopping online, so this Christmas we will see a lot more mix between in-store and online shopping, ”said Ms. Levine.

ARA-Roy Morgan 2021 Pre-Christmas Retail Sales (by State and Territory)

Domestic retail before Christmas 2021 is expected to be in line with 2020, with growth in Victoria, Tasmania and ACT; Widely flat NSW and WA; and some contraction in Queensland, SA and NT following strong sales before Christmas in 2020.

ARA-Roy Morgan 2021 Pre-Christmas Retail Sales (by Category)

By category, the expected year-over-year change is more uneven than the breakdown by state, with double-digit growth forecast for hospitality offsetting declines in housewares and department stores.

Roy Morgan’s data also puts (for the first time) the impact of the most recent lockdowns on retail at $ 131 million per day across the economy.

“Unsurprisingly, these impacts were felt most severely in New South Wales and Victoria, at $ 40.4 million and $ 55.2 million per day respectively. And it’s also not surprising that the worst-hit categories are hospitality and apparel, footwear and accessories, at $ 71.7 million and $ 55.7 million per day respectively, ”said Mr. Zahra.

“These impacts will continue to weigh on annual retail growth and will be compounded by cuts in government stimulus payments and the end of ‘mortgage holidays’ for hundreds of thousands of Australians in the coming months. We must also remember that the sector recorded very high figures following an exceptional Christmas last year.

“Overall, however, the outlook is positive heading into Christmas and there is cause for celebration in the outlook for this year.

“With high online sales, reduced purchase demand, global supply chain disruptions and local delivery issues, the key message to consumers this Christmas is the season to shop early,” M concluded. Zahra.

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