Australians set to spend $11 billion on Christmas gifts this year

Australians set to spend $11 billion on Christmas gifts this year

Sales of Christmas presents are expected to hit $11 billion this year in Australia according to research released today by Roy Morgan and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), with a significant proportion to come from online sales.

On average, gift buyers are expected to spend $726 each, with 35-49 year old’s the most generous age group.

In good news for retailers, most Australians (79 per cent) say they’ll spend the same or more than they did last year on presents.

Of those surveyed, 20 per cent said they will buy toys, jigsaw puzzles and boardgames as presents, followed by vouchers and gift cards (18 per cent) and clothing, shoes and sleepwear (16 per cent). However, 45 per cent said they were yet to make up their mind about what gifts they’ll purchase.

Consumers in New South Wales are the most generous and forecast to spend an average of $902 on their Christmas gifts, followed by Tasmanians at $813, Queenslanders $705, Victorians $652, South Australians $645 and West Australians $472.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says despite the current lockdowns of over half of the Australian population, consumers are looking forward to a bumper Christmas retailing season.

“This special ARA-Roy Morgan Snap SMS survey of over 3,000 Australians shows there is considerable optimism in the community looking forward to a Christmas retailing season that is set to see a record amount spent online,” says Levine. 

“NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced Greater Sydney will start to open up in mid-October as vaccination targets are met and the hope is that there will be a similar opening up in Victoria soon after – just in time for the Christmas retailing season which traditionally fires up in early November.

“In the first week of September, Australians are planning on spending over $11 billion on gifts for family, friends and colleagues for Christmas this year and with a lack of spending options during lockdown, the chances are this figure will be exceeded as we open up in the months ahead.”

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said Christmas is a critical trading period, when most discretionary retailers make up to two-thirds of their profits for the year.

“The past few months have been a uniquely challenging time for most retailers, in particular small businesses navigating extended state-imposed lockdowns and restrictions that have limited their ability to trade. Despite this uncertainty, the good news is that consumer sentiment is upbeat for Christmas and retailers can look forward to healthy trading conditions over the busy festive season,” Zahra said.

“Not surprisingly, a significant amount of Christmas shopping is set to be done online this year which is an accelerating trend as a result of the pandemic. Consumers should be mindful of the strain our supply chains are under and make sure they get their online orders in on time to avoid disappointment. We might be in September, but we’re already seeing Christmas levels of demand with current online purchases.

“With less than 15 weeks to go, the countdown is now on to the busiest time of year on the retail calendar, and with over $11 billion set to be spent on gifts this year, retailers look set to share in the Christmas spoils.”

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