NRA predicts Christmas windfall

Sales on track for $48 billion.

Consumers are on track to drop a hefty $48 billion on festive cheer, during the Christmas selling season. National Retail Association (NRA) CEO Dominique Lamb said despite sluggish retail spending, retailers will be run off their feet from next week through to December 31.

The NRA has given a breakdown of projected spending from the last two weeks of November to December 31: NSW ($15.9B); VIC ($12.3B); QLD ($9.4B); WA ($5.15B) SA ($3B); TAS ($949M); ACT (883M) and the NT ($431M).

“Retailers have been preparing for months, recruiting extra staff who can take care of the extra foot traffic and help indecisive consumers find the right gift,” Lamb said.

According to the NRA services like Australia Post’s Shipster offering, was indicative of ways the industry is working together to better cater to shoppers’ growing need for speed and convenience. Stores with physical and online footprints have been utilising better data analytics tools this year ahead of the busy period, to better assess their channels and streamline their e-commerce portals, Lamb said.

“Retailers have upped the ante on their fulfilment and delivery services and will be utilising rapidly advancing technology to give more accurate feedback on changing consumer needs, to offer even better services into 2018.”

And while shoppers might be keen to get the job done swiftly, she said personalised service will still be high on the agenda. “Experiential shoppers won’t just be looking to walk into a store, grab the product they want and leave. They will be looking for a more individualised service that provides a more immersive retail experience, rather than simply a Christmas shopping chore.”

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