(Australian Associated Press)
Retailers expect Australians to spend about $14 billion on presents in the frantic final week before Christmas Day.
National Retail Association boss Dominique Lamb says retailers are readying themselves for a hectic few days as shoppers make last-minute purchases of food and presents.
It is expected Australians will spend a total of $50.1b from the middle of November to Christmas Day, which would be an overall increase of three per cent on last year’s sales, Ms Lamb says.
However other forecasts suggest retail spend could be the lowest in the past six years.
Top Christmas items this year include Razor scooters, a particular Chloe handbag, a “Booty Shakin’ Llama” toy and some stores had reported shortages of Baby Yoda toys.
Ms Lamb said retailers hoped cash from the Morrison government’s income tax cuts to begin to flow following disappointing October spending figures.
“Certainly there was a lot of anticipation of when and how those tax dollars would be spent,” she said.
“But it would appear people have been saving them for Christmas because now we’re starting to see those figures come through.”
Ms Lamb said stores were bringing in those customers reluctant to brave the shopping rush with click-and-collect schemes, where products are ordered online and later picked up in store.
Other methods to increase spending by shoppers put off by the mayhem of shopping malls include the use of mobile apps which show when centres are quiet, said Monash University Marketing researcher Dr Rebecca Dare.
She said the forecast retail spend was anticipated to be the lowest in six years.
Dr Dare said forecast growth projections for Christmas spending were expected to be “flat to negative” on previous years.
“People don’t think they have as much money as they used to,” Dr Dare said.
From Wednesday to Christmas Eve is it expected that consumers will spend:
* NSW $4.6b
* Victoria $3.7b
* Queensland $2.6b
* Western Australia $1.5b
* South Australia $930m
* Tasmania $270m
* ACT $250m
* Northern Territory $110m.