Australian consumers are tipped to spend nearly $18 billion in post Christmas sales, according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA). The forecast is a near three per cent increase on last year’s actual figures.

The figures come from ARA research conducted in conjunction with Roy Morgan and the forecast of $17.9b is for the period between December 26th 2017 and January 15th 2018. According to ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman, the jump is being driven by online retail.

“With Amazon’s recent Australia launch, we are certain that online retail will be a driving force for post-Christmas sales with the ARA and Roy Morgan forecasting the ‘Other Retailing’ category to increase by more than four per cent this year.”

The other retailing category (3.96 per cent), food (3.27 per cent), and hospitality (2.89 per cent) are the big movers across the industry. According to Zimmerman, the festive season will see discounted produce, more socialising at cafes and bars, and more Australians heading online for their Christmas bargains.

“With online retail accounting for more than seven per cent of total retail sales, we urge retailers to understand the new technologies available to them,” Zimmerman said.

NSW is predicted to have the strongest growth in the Christmas sales period, with shoppers expected to spend almost $6b, an increase of 4.2 per cent on last years corresponding period. Western Australia (0.89 per cent) and QLD (1.15 per cent) were the two states with the lowest forecasted growth.

“We are also expecting Victorian retailers to see a 3.3% spike in post-Christmas sales this year as Victoria is the fashion capital of Australia,” Zimmerman said.

“South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory are also likely to receive a substantial increase in post-Christmas sales, as Australians across the country will be seeking retail bargains both online and in-store.”

Despite several “disruptions” to the Australian retail market, Zimmerman says he is looking forward to seeing the ARA and Roy Morgan predictions come to fruition.

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