Sales sea­son will be dif­fer­ent this year

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

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

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