Easter to sweeten cashiers in retail trading spike

Easter to sweeten cashiers in retail trading spike

Retailers from supermarkets to bottle shops to fishmongers have geared up for a flurry of activity this week as shoppers hop into stores to stock up for Easter.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman says while many stores stock their shelves with Easter products just after New Year, the majority of Easter sales do not occur until the week before Good Friday.

"Although the Easter trading period is shorter than the Christmas period, this holiday is still recognised as a busy trading event for retailers," says Zimmerman.

"We predict that sales of traditional Easter items including hot cross, buns, seafood, fresh produce, liquor and of course chocolate to increase during throughout this time, which is a welcome fillip for specialist retailers who sell these products."

Sydney Fish Market general manager Bryan Skepper expects 50,000 people will visit the iconic market on Good Friday and estimates over 650 tonnes of seafood will be sold during the day.

"As Easter is celebrated widely, many Australians will be heading to retail outlets to buy fresh produce to cater for Easter lunches and feed their friends and families," adds Zimmerman.

But fresh food markets won't be the only ones experiencing big crowds of shoppers over the coming week, as several bakeries and chocolatiers will also be crafting tantalising indulgences for the Easter holiday.

Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses CEO Steve Plarre notes while 60 per cent of hot cross bun sales are generated from traditional fruit buns, sales of new flavours and Easter Chocolate Waffles continue to grow each year.

"Hot cross buns are still a top seller by volume. However, over the last few years, we have noticed a rise in the sale of our raspberry and white chocolate and our apple and cinnamon varieties," he says.

With Easter arriving later in 2019 than last year, Zimmerman expects retailers to notice higher sales during this tim, as customers will be visiting retail stores to purchase new and innovative Easter creations.

"Each year we see many of our retailers taking traditional Easter products and transforming them into exciting new products that tantalise their customer's tastebuds," he says.

"Just like Christmas, Easter is a key trading period for retailers. With the colder season upon us, many retailers will be busy preparing their stores with new season fashion for winter."

Changing holiday traditions

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has also revealed how much average budgets are dedicated to travel and fun activities over the Easter break, with the number of school aged children traveling overseas up 10-fold since 1978.

In 2018 almost 200,000 kids returned from overseas trips between March and May, with Indonesia as the leading destination followed by New Zealand, the USA and Thailand.

Overall, the average annual spend by Australian households on overseas holidays is $2,371, while the average family spends $454 on domestic holiday fares, $94 on holiday petrol, $81 on holiday homes and $81 on caravan parks.

For those families who take their holidays closer to home, cinemas and drive-ins are the most popular activities amongst cultural event venues with 87.7 per cent of children going at least once.

Libraries and archives (53.1 per cent) were the second most popular, followed by museums (45.2 per cent). Musicals and operas had the lowest attendance rate for children, at 14.7 per cent.

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