National retailers discuss trading in the lead-up to Christmas.
New South Wales
Betta Electrical Lismore store manager, Brad Gosling has said that his business has seen an upsurge in the past month in the lead up to Christmas.
L to R: Lismore staff members, Blue, Andy, Mitch and Stef get in the Christmas spirit
“We have been selling appliances across the board, although there have been a few stand-out performers,” Gosling said.
“Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic air-conditioners have been selling well as consumers realise the energy efficiency of inverter technology. Some of the latest models only use as much power as a regular ceiling fan, which is the best efficiency I have seen in my 25 years in the retail industry.
“We have also been pushing the Nutri Ninja blender with heavy advertising and premium shop floor positioning as consumers become more and more health-conscious. Other small appliances, particularly food processors and juicers, have also been in demand.
“A number of customers have also come into the store wanting to treat themselves this Christmas and buying big screen televisions,” Gosling added.
Betta Electrical Bega store manager, Brendan Buckley (pictured below), agreed with Gosling saying that air-conditioning sales have been “very good” as the store experiences improved trading conditions in comparison to previous years.
“A number of consumers have also been purchasing whitegoods and cooking appliances for both new homes and renovations.
“We expect Christmas gifts to include soundbars and portable speakers from our audio category as well as Apple computers.”
Mitchell & Brown managing director, Steve Nanninga also noted that November sales were up on expected turnover.
“Our store held a three day mid-November sale that kicked us along and proved to be a pleasing month,” he said.
“Whitegoods have been very strong along with our cooking appliances and Apple’s range of products.
“We are expecting Christmas trading to be challenging but we have everything in place to trade well during the period. In the coming weeks, I predict Apple products to continue to sell well and the Nutri Ninja juicer range to be an excellent performer. Our wide range of homewares is also traditionally popular,” Nanninga added.
However, Coogans general manager, Jon Austin said the month of November kicked off with a bang with very strong sales but fell away in a matter of weeks due to suppressed consumer confidence.
“Flat screen UHD televisions have seen positive sales, particularly Samsung and Hisense models. Coloured fridges have also been in demand as consumers seek to brighten up the kitchen space.
“As our store focuses on higher product price-points of $200 and above, we are not particularly a destination store for inexpensive Christmas gifts. However, traditionally televisions and fridges continue to sell well through December and in the New Year we will hold a stock clearance sale,” Austin continued.
South Australia is also experiencing soft consumer confidence as Leading Appliances Balaklava (Balaklava Electronics) store manager, Jeffrey Karklins, described sales as comparable to previous years and he is not expecting a spike during the Christmas period.
“Televisions, air conditioning units, microwaves and blenders, particularly the Nutri brand, all sold well in November.
“In the coming weeks, I expect technology gadgets to be in demand; especially, our Lennox drones and the latest Apple iPhone 6,” Karklins said.
Ben’s Leading Appliances in Home Hill, south of Townsville, is experiencing less than usual foot traffic and sales due to soft consumer confidence, according to store manager Christine Benvenuti.
“Consumers are buying necessary big ticket items, such as your whitegoods and cooking appliances, and we do expect small appliances and tablets to be popular in the coming weeks. However, sales are down in comparison to previous years.
Benvenuti is hoping the Leading Appliance promotion, running across all stores, will help boost sales. Customers have the chance to win $10,000 cash when they spend $20 or more in one transaction at any store until January 13 2016.