As consumers shop early for Christmas.

November trade figures have reported year-on-year growth of 3.27% seasonally adjusted, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman (pictured below) said this growth is a positive sign for the industry as retailers remain hopeful that the ARA and Roy Morgan predicted pre-Christmas sales figure of $48.1 billion over the Christmas trading period (November 15 to December 24, 2016) will be achieved.


“We won’t be able to confirm the actual pre-Christmas spend until December retail figures are released next month. However, after speaking with retailers across the country, many reported a strong start to Christmas sales in November due to many consumers getting on top of their holiday shopping early.”

Despite the closure of a number of Masters stores across Australia, other hardware retailers, particularly Bunnings, lead the charge for another exceptional growth in hardware at 10.15% year-on-year.

New South Wales proves to be the strongest of the states with a 4.25% growth year-on-year, while all other states remain steady (VIC 3.45%, QLD 3.67%, TAS 3.72%, SA 2.82%, ACT 6.44%). As expected, the mining jurisdictions, WA (-0.57%) and NT (0.31%), reflected a weakness in sales due to the downturn in resources in these regions.

“Though these figures don’t necessarily reflect Christmas sales, they generally provide a strong indication as to what we can expect for retail sales over the festive season. I am confident December figures will prove to be strong as many consumers, including myself, usually leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute,” Zimmerman said.