Consumer confidence has fallen across the country but retailers in Australia are still holding onto hope for an almost $9 billion spend over the next seven days.
Both the Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment and the Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating recorded significant declines in consumer confidence over the beginning of December.
The Roy Morgan index fell by 5.5 points and the Westpac results saw a similar fall of 4.8 per cent.
However, the positive forecast for Christmas trading in Australia has not wavered.
Shoppers are expected to spend more than $8.7 billion over the next week as the final Christmas shopping days approach, according to recent figures from the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA).
“Despite a drop in consumer confidence recorded in December, all indicators still point towards a stronger Christmas period than the past two years for retailers,” ANRA Chief Executive Officer Margy Osmond said in a December 11 statement.
Last minute Christmas gift buying is expected to flourish, especially as Generation Y shoppers take advantage of extended trading hours. Almost 35 per cent of Gen Y Australians admit to completing the majority of their present shopping between December 14 and Christmas Eve.
“Retailers will be bracing themselves for a Christmas shopping frenzy over the next seven days where sales are expected to surge more than $1.65 billion since last week to $8.7 billion – up 23 per cent,” Ms Osmond said in a December 16 media release.
A vast majority of this spending is expected to take place within bricks and mortar stores, with online retailing losing steam due to delivery times and the tightening time constraints.
“Individually we will part with about $377 per person this week as we wrap up the last full week of shopping. Of this, $338 is expected to be spent in bricks and mortar stores. There will be little left to spread to online retailers as shoppers err on the side of delivery caution,” Ms Osmond said.