By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: Despite the interest rate rises impacting spending, Clive Peeters is expecting a good Christmas season, according to managing director Greg Smith.
With accused thief Sony Causer appearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court today, Smith is somewhat free of the albatross that his listed retail group has been burdened with throughout 2009. A slump in the housing market and the general economic downturn has also contributed to a very difficult year – but Christmas could still make Smith smile.
“Christmas I think has been slightly impacted by interest rate announcement, but the most important dates are still ahead of us, and certainly the Boxing Day week is critical to whether Christmas is a solid Christmas or a good one,” he said.
“A lot of the business still gets written in the second half of December, but at this stage I’d say it’s going to be solid if not a good Christmas.”
On the topic of the Boxing Day sales, Smith said although it meant lower margins as prices are slashed, the sales are now firmly entrenched in the Australian retail psyche, and that Clive Peeters had to be involved.
“Everyone has to be competitive [during] Boxing Day week, it’s a very competitive week,” he said
“The good news is the volumes jump sharply in that week, that’s the compensation, but yes, we’ll be out there and being very competitive for sure.”