National retailers foresee drop in spending.

The lead-up to an election always sees a decline in consumer spending and confidence, according to WA’s Dorsett Retail managing director, David Dorsett-Lynn (pictured below), although the result of the election usually sees a return to business as usual.

David Dorsett-Lynn 2

“Whether you vote labour or liberal, it is a time of suspense as consumers are uncertain of the future,” he said.

Dorsett-Lynn also believes that consumers will purchase replacement products in the next couple of months, but are likely to save their money on upgrades.

“If you have a broken fridge I bet you will replace it but if you’re thinking about an upgrade you might well wait.”

NSW 2nds World owner, Peter Hammerman (pictured below) agreed with Dorsett-Lynn, noting that discretionary sales, such as renovations may be put off until after the election.

However, he has not seen a significant change in customer traffic since Turnbull called the election, but is expecting it to come.

Peter Hammerman

“Traditionally, elections are a disaster for retail. In the lead up to a Federal election there will be a softening in retail sales. It has happened in the past so it will probably happen again, although there are some positive events on the horizon.

“The footy season is well underway and TV cooking shows help stimulate sales for kitchen appliances. Winter will help (when it comes) because as soon as it gets a little cold, customers rush in to buy heaters or reverse cycle air conditioners,” he said.

QLD Rockhampton’s Webbers Retravision owner, Doug Webber (pictured below), has said his sales have been affected by a local election that was held in March and now, the federal election in July. He believes customers go quiet ahead of the election as they wait for “some kind of miracle.”

“In Rockhampton, we have seen major job losses due to the mining downturn and it has also impacted sales since Christmas as this is when workers were made either redundant or sacked,” he said.

Doug Webber

“I think business people wanted a change with a new leader but Rockhampton voted in the same and our Mayor won on getting 34% of the vote, and therefore 66% of people wanted change.”

Webber also noted that state governments are not promoting growth.

“The same businesses are opening in regional towns where our population is stagnant. I believe businesses would sustain downturn if there was a capping of certain retail shops instead of enabling shopping centres and local council letting businesses open that only duplicate another.

“In our case, we have 12 electrical stores trying to survive in a town of no more than 70,000 people,” he said.

However, NSW Taree Leading Appliances owner, Peter Bolte has seen no evidence that the election shifts customer behaviour. Although he believes this may be the case because his primary demographic is dominated by retirees and people on fixed incomes.

Leading Appliances Logo

“I don’t see the election causing any major change to spending patterns, other than there will not be as much advertising airtime to purchase,” he said.