Small businesses hard hit by prolonged Covid lockdowns rejoice over Aussies plan to spend BIG over Christmas time
- Shopkeepers struggling to keep their heads above water during the lockdown have hope for Christmas
- With NSW and Victoria easing lockdowns, more residents can shop
- Australians are expected to spend $11 million during the Christmas trading period
Retailers struggling to keep their heads above water due to the coronavirus lockdowns are getting a glimmer of hope for a busy Christmas trading period.
Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, said lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT threaten the survival of small businesses and some discretionary retailers, particularly those in CBD locations.
“However, there is hope on the horizon as NSW will reopen next month and Victoria and the ACT are expected to follow,” said Mr Zahra.
Retailers struggling to survive due to coronavirus lockdowns get a glimmer of hope for busy Christmas trading period
“The timing couldn’t be more important as retailers prepare for the festive trading season, when most discretionary retailers earn up to two-thirds of their profits for the year.”
NSW promises to relax restrictions when vaccination rates reach 70 percent, for people over 16 who have had two doses.
Research by the association and Roy Morgan found that Australians will spend more than $11 billion on Christmas gifts this year, with 79 percent saying they spend the same or more than last year.
“However, the immediate challenges surrounding the lockdowns remain and a lot of pain is still felt in parts of the country where stay-at-homes are in effect,” Mr Zahra said.
NSW pledges to relax restrictions when vaccination coverage reaches 70 percent, for people over 16 who have had two doses
New figures from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail for all forms of payment, showed August sales increased 1.1 percent compared to July, but was 2.3 percent lower than a year earlier.
The largest annual declines occurred in clothing retail, down 15 percent, and department stores, down 3.5 percent.
However, sales of household goods increased by 4.5 percent and food retailing by 0.2 percent.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release retail spending figures for August on September 28.