Retailers report record Christmas trade

As major appliances and TVs perform well.

Ruslan Kogan told Appliance Retailer his company had a record Christmas and Boxing Day period thanks to momentum in sales through Kogan.com and Dick Smith channels. “Hot items included big screen TVs, smartphones and drones.”
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Appliances Online experienced its strongest Christmas period to date with a number of record shopping days. Although, CEO John Winning said this result may not be representative of the market as every year continues to be bigger than the last.

“We had a great lead up to Christmas with a considerable spike in sales on Boxing Day with shoppers spending their Christmas dollars or those who had been waiting for Boxing Day to make their purchases.

“Fridges and freezers was our best selling category followed by washers and dryers, cooking appliances and then dishwashers,” Winning said.

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Christmas trading was also strong for Bi-Rite with pleasing results from the days leading up to the festive season and a positive feeling among retailers. Although a few categories struggled; in particular, air conditioning which kicked in much later than previous years, there were a number of standout categories.

Bi-Rite owner, Abdul Kayum Sacur said, “Firstly, our television sales performed well. In particular, UHD technology has become even more affordable to consumers and this has been driven well with activity leading up to Christmas. There has been a significant uplift in Bluetooth audio sales since the launch of the iPhone 7 and there was a further uplift closer to Christmas as this was seen as a great gift. Small appliances also continued to perform well.”

“This Christmas, Bi-Rite saw an improvement to the previous year as a result of all the positive changes made throughout the year. Members went into the final months of the year in the strongest position off the back of our recent conference,” he added.

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Leading Appliances is expected to record its best December result, according to national group manager, Nicholas Fry. He attributed strong trading to the group’s s multi-faceted marketing campaign through December, with TV ads, catalogue, eDM and social media marketing in full swing.

“The successful categories were small appliances, which are typically strong for us at this time of year, and we also enjoyed strong whitegoods sales, particularly fridges and freezers. The TV market was typically volatile and there was action aplenty in the market, but we held our own, recording consistent sales,” Fry explained.

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Although Camberwell Electrics is a destination store for kitchen and laundry appliances, due to the warmer weather, there was a spike in fans and air conditioning over the Christmas period which has remained steady into January. Owner, Hans Vanderstadt attributed the majority of the retailer’s sales to renovations.

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L&M Goldstar located in QLD’s Mermaid Beach experienced “excellent sales” over Christmas that have lasted well into January. Managing director, Trina Hockley said, “Premium cooking and mid-range laundry were our best-selling categories. Sales were about on par with last year; however early January is well above last year.”

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Kennedy’s Betta Home Living located in QLD’s Cairns City had strong Christmas trade up to approximately five days before Christmas. As a destination store, the traffic flow did weaken a little after this.

“However, the post-Christmas sales period was very strong for us and we were up on last year for our Boxing Day trade as well as the days following on from this. All round we had a strong December trade and were up around 10% on last year,” store manager, Janelle Given said.

“Most definitely, whitegoods and refrigeration were best sellers. We always trade very strong in this category over the Christmas period, as people require additional space for extra family members and friends that may be staying over the festive season. AV is another strong category with larger TV’s being extremely popular due to aggressive price points,” she added.

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Christmas sales started later than previous years for Teds Cameras, although there was a major emphasis on Boxing Day. All categories performed well, but CEO Nic Peasley said particular attention was on Instax and the new Nikon Key Mission 360 camera.

“The month of December including Boxing Day week was consistent with 2015 results,” he said.

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