Australian retail sales continue to strengthen in the lead up to Christmas, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. 

Retail sales across the country increased 6.5% in November compared to the same time last year and are up 16.6% on pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Household goods were one of the strongest performing categories up 15%. Despite recording a 12% increase in sales compared to the previous month, department store sales are down 4% compared to November 2020.

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO, Paul Zahra said businesses have strong momentum in the lead up to Christmas.

“Retail sales are continuing to accelerate in the run up to Christmas, and that’s music to the ears of many retailers particularly small businesses who are looking to make up for the substantial trading losses they incurred during the Delta lockdowns,” he said.

“There’s a real buzz in the air at our major shopping destinations with people back out and about in droves. Consumer confidence is in positive territory, we had a record-breaking Black Friday, so all the signs are pointing to a buoyant Christmas trading period. The pent-up demand for shopping is set to continue in the post-Christmas sales as well with a record $21 billion to be spent in the three weeks from Boxing Day.”