ARA and Roy Morgan forecast Christmas spending to exceed $51b

ARA and Roy Morgan forecast Christmas spending to exceed $51b

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and market research group Roy Morgan expect a "bountiful" Christmas this year for stores specialising in electronics, with consumers of all ages set to indulge in new gadgets and technology.

Electronics and hi-fi products fall under the groups' 'Other retailing' category which is set for year-on-year growth of 2.7 per cent.

Overall the ARA expects Australians will spend more than $51 billion over the Christmas trading period from 9 November to 24 December.

While traditional models will be tested by the rise of e-commerce, ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman says shoppers will be turning to retail stores to tick presents off their lists.

"With the festive season commencing in less than two days, most Aussies will be in the process of setting-up their Christmas lights and decorating their Christmas trees in preparation for the upcoming festivities," says Zimmerman.

"Likewise, retailers have also followed suit, embellishing their store windows with captivating displays and offering a variety of new and exciting products for consumers to spoil their loved ones with."

Neto CEO Ryan Murtagh further explains the rise in popularity of electronics.

"Being connected is now cheaper, easier and cooler than ever before," says Murtagh.

"With new gadgets and technology hitting the high street, there is now a marketplace for both tech-savvy youngsters and adults to indulge in these products, providing significant opportunities for retailers who operate in this category."

According to the Neto State of E-Commerce report, the electronics category saw a 22 per cent year-on-year growth in 2018.

With the average basket size for this category in excess of $116, JB Hi-Fi managing director Cameron Trainor says demand for personal devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops and advanced internet of things (IoT) connected devices like Google Home and Smart TVs have contributed to the high volume of rapid growth in the electronics category.

"Gaming, fitness accessories, smart home technologies and robotics are amongst the most popular items for consumers to purchase this Christmas," says Trainor.

"Our retailers are stocked and ready to go with innovative products to stimulate consumer preferences ahead of the upcoming festive season."

Hitwise's Weekly Internal Site Searches data from eBay reveals gaming consoles, including Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, are the top trending products for Christmas, with wireless headphones and drones amongst the top 10 most popular searches.

"As mentioned in Neto's State of E-Commerce report, the electronics and hi-fi markets are worth a considerable $3 billion, and the ARA suspect gaming consoles and smart home technology products will be flying off the shelves this Christmas," says Zimmerman.

"Christmas is the season of giving and with a fantastic range of technology on offer this festive season, Christmas trees across Australia will be filled with new and exciting and gifts to unwrap on the big day."

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