Retailers are already beaming with increased sales as we head full steam ahead into the Festive season.
According to the Australian Retail Index provided in conjunction with Retail Express and BDO, there is positive news as the first two weeks of December are now behind us. Compared with that of the same period last year, all sectors including Fashion, Furniture and Sporting have shown an improvement of up to 8.8% growth.
Australia Wide – December 2014 vs December 2015
Sporting has been the leading sector overall and has shown the greatest leap ahead of all other sectors so far in the initial Christmas buying period. The ACT showed the greatest disparity with Furniture showing growth but at a much slower rate of 2.2% as opposed to Sporting being the clear winner with 21.6% growth on last year.
ACT – December 2014 vs December 2015
It’s not all bad news for Furniture & Homewares however, as NSW residents prepare their homes for Christmas with the Furniture sector superseding all verticals with a 12.7% growth on the same period last year, more than Sporting and Fashion combined in NSW!
NSW – December 2014 vs December 2015
Although Sporting has been the winner overall throughout this initial two week period, Fashion has also seen a tremendous boost, especially in Victoria. A clear increase of more than 13% in sales on the same period last year for Metro regions including Melbourne and a whopping 24.8% growth in Regional towns across the state.
Move to cash?
Surprisingly, more people are opting for cash or debit purchases overall as we move into December with credit purchases decreasing to 55.6% from 57.5% in November this year. Credit purchases may be expected to increase as we move into the last two weeks of Christmas. The daily reports from the Australian Retail Index will reveal the outcome following Boxing Day this year.
Spending more on less
Are Australians being more generous this year compared to last? The first two weeks of the Christmas month compared with the same period last year, shows that our average basket size is increasing yet we’re purchasing less items.
NSW in particular is showing increased generosity this year as the average cost of sale has grown by 9.6% on last year indicating we’re buying higher ticketed items but perhaps less items overall as seen by the decrease in ‘units per transaction’ of 4.4% on last year.
NSW – December 2015 compared with December 2014
The Christmas shopping period brings in more than 30% of a retailer’s yearly revenue so seeing growth throughout this period is always a positive sign for future bricks and mortar success.
The next two weeks will be crucial to Christmas trade as we aim for more positive growth across all sectors compared to the same period last year. Keep an eye on the Australian Retail Index in the coming weeks to see how each sector progresses in the lead up to Christmas and Boxing Day.
All data has been sourced from the Australian Retail Index. Hit Follow above to ensure you receive the updates.
Aaron Blackman – CEO, Retail Express
Image credit: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com