‘Nerve-racking’ time for shops as Boxing Day sales tipped to hit $2.4b

‘Nerve-racking’ time for shops as Boxing Day sales tipped to hit $2.4b

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – December 22 .Tony Sutton, executive general manager stores, Myer poses for a photo in the Myer Melbourne store December 22 , 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor)Australians are expected to spend a record $2.4 billion on Boxing Day, but bricks-and-mortar retailers are reporting smaller crowds as online sellers including Amazon compete for shopping dollars.

Spending in the post-Christmas season until January 15 would be the strongest seen to date in dollar terms, with a “fairly strong” increase of 2.9 per cent over last year’s shopping season, Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman predicted.

But many retailers had been hoping it would be 4.5 to 5 per cent, he said, to help offset higher energy costs.

Some of the rise in retail spending could be explained by population growth and increased prices, with a “little bit of an extra spend” from shoppers, he said. !function(e,t,s,i){var n=”InfogramEmbeds”,o=e.getElementsByTagName(“script”),d=o[0],r=/^http:/.test(e.location)?”http:”:”https:”;if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=r+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var a=e.createElement(“script”);a.async=1,a.id=s,a.src=i,d.parentNode.insertBefore(a,d)}}(document,0,”infogram-async”,”https://e.infogram南京夜网/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js”);

Many retailers achieve more than half their annual revenue over the December and January season, making it a critical trading period.

At 4.2 per cent, NSW is expected to have the strongest post-Christmas sales growth in the third year its shops have been able to trade on Boxing Day. Sales in Victoria are tipped to grow by 3.28 per cent.

Across the country, these sales are expected to total $17.9 billion nationally over the three-week period from Boxing Day onwards.

Despite this, some bricks-and-mortar retailers reported smaller crowds in the lead-up to Boxing Day, with the rise of online shopping taking its toll.

This is the first year Amazon has been available in Australia. It is offering Boxing Day discounts too, pitting it against traditional retailers.

The ARA and Roy Morgan expect the fastest growth category for sales in the post-Christmas weeks to be “other”, which includes online shopping, with a 4.02 per cent increase.

The second-strongest segment is tipped to be food. Department stores and apparel have the weakest growth outlook.

It is a particularly critical time of year for Myer Holdings, which had a “horror start” for sales at the beginning of the all-important Christmas season.

Myer executive general manager Tony Sutton said it was expecting 600,000 transactions, with crowds lining up in Melbourne from 2am on Tuesday.

“We hope it will outpace [2017] … It’s busier this time than last year,” Mr Sutton said.

Fiona MacKenzie, the general manager of Victorian shopping centre Chadstone, said there was an industrywide shift to food, entertainment and experiences in physical stores.

Annually, it had seen a 26 per cent increase in visitors, with November’s total visitor numbers up 4 per cent.

“We are expecting over 170,000 people to visit Chadstone on Boxing Day … It is our busiest day of the year in terms of foot traffic,” she said.

Michael Wall, the managing director of Sydney toystore Hobbyco, said trade had been busy before Christmas, but was quieter this year than in the past.

“We’re running 4 to 5 per cent lower than last year,” he said.

Hobbyco’s online presence now generates between 7 and 8 per cent of its total business revenue, but the store’s iPhone-controlled working model train window display remains popular with the crowds at the Queen Victoria Building.

Also making a visual splash in the QVB to attract customers and tourists was the Swarovski store, but assistant store manager Marie-Anne Moutrage was not certain it would beat last year’s sales.

“It hasn’t been as busy as last year, but we are optimistic,” she said.

“It’s so nerve-racking.”

Jason Aravanis, an analyst at market researcher IBISWorld, expects retail spending to stagnate, or even fall by up to 0.2 per cent, over the year, blaming less spending money, negative consumer sentiment and price discounting.

He said early signs indicated retailers would “struggle” to outperform, but food and liquor sellers would see growth.

“Consumers are tending to transition to cheaper online retailers, particularly as the entrance of Amazon into the market increases the awareness of online platforms.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.