By James Wells
Pre-Christmas sales to entice individual consumers to part with cash and rile up the Christmas spirit in the general public are due to a shift in gift-giving, from presents to cash, as customers become wary of being ripped off in the Boxing Day sales.
Earlier this week, JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith held nationwide one-day-only sales in an attempt to kickstart activity, while the online players conducted the flawed Click Frenzy sale in late November.
According to Tom Antonio, who owns the Electrical Discounters retailing chain in South Australia, research conducted by his company shows that deferred spending is becoming more prevalent.
“We have rung and spoken to 100 consumers and the feedback is very clear – that the majority of people prefer money as gifts, so they can choose and buy what they want at the post-Christmas sales.
“When it comes to the electronics industry, consumers have become very aware the savings are too great to ignore and also they get angry at being ripped off a few days earlier.
“Our research found this was not in all cases however, as people are also traditional and also like to put gifts under trees.
“The electrical industry, in our talks with people, was the standout industry that people don’t trust and we seem to be losing our integrity as an industry from the consumers. This was very obvious in our discussions and can’t you really blame them — the proof is in the history.
“With things as tight as they are, people want to save every cent they can.”