Christmas spending set to top $50bn

Australians are set to stuff their stockings this year, with Christmas spending expected to top a whopping $50.1bn online and in the shops.

That’s the expectation of the nation’s retailers, who say the rate of spending will break records in every state and territory, building to an increase of 3 per cent nationwide from last year.

National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb said the biggest jump will be in online Christmas spending, with shoppers forecast to splurge $54,347 online every minute.

That digital spend is projected to hit $3.6bn nationally, a 25.5 per cent increase on last year’s figures.

“What we know is that shoppers are looking for a frictionless experience and that they are time poor,” Lamb said.

“At Christmas, when you’ve got lots of things to do, retailers are taking advantage of click and collect.”

About 8.5 per cent of Australia’s overall annual spending is done online, but that is predicted to rise to 20 per cent over the next five years.

Gift cards, homewares, one-off, high end items and experiences are the most sought after items at Christmas.

Regional Christmas spending

Despite the positive Christmas spending outlook, the nation’s regional areas may struggle to keep up, still reeling from recent tragedy. Retailers expect trading in regional areas expected to feel the impact of bushfires this year, after hundreds of homes were flattened and lives lost over recent weeks.

“We know that people do not like to spend when incidents like this have happened,” Lamb added.

“But we also know that our retailers get on board with these kind of events, and the certainly attempt to support wherever they can.”

The highest forecasted Christmas spending will be in New South Wales at $16.2bn, followed by Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, at $13.4bn, $9.7bn, $5.2bn and $3.2bn respectively.

Source: AAP