Sales season will be different this year
CONSUMERS will spend a record $46 billion over the Christmas season with retailers promising gradual discounts rather than one-off big-ticket sales to keep registers ticking over.
The National Retail Association is forecasting a 4 per cent lift in sales to a record $46.5 billion for the period stretching from the final two weeks of November until New Year’s Eve.
The NRA predicts Queenslanders will hit the stores in record numbers, lifting spending 6 per cent to $9.3 billion this year as a result of changes to trading hours. But retailers say that they have switched strategy from previous seasons to wean customers off the deep discounts many have come to expect.
NRA chief executive Dominique Lamb says retailers will likely reconsider their sales tactics carefully so as not to undercut their profits.
“Retailers are starting to see it as a race to the bottom and while price is a factor, consumers are showing with their wallets that they are prepared to pay more for products with a point of difference,” Ms Lamb said.
While it’s good news for shoppers who will have access to more bargains in the lead up to Christmas, retail analysts warn this year’s Boxing Day sales may lack a bit of their traditional punch. “Bargain hunting has become increasingly prevalent,” IBIS analyst Lauren Magner said.
“In the past with so much global uncertainty post-global financial crisis, retailers had to discount heavily to boost sales and get customers in store,” she said.
Department stores may change their pricing tactics for the big sales