Retail sales over the Christmas period this year are forecast to reach $42.1 billion, according to sales projections prepared by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) in partnership with Roy Morgan Research.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said shoppers would put about $42.1 billion though retail tills between November 14 and December 25.

This represents a 3.3 per cent gain on sales during the same period last year, which recorded $40.7 billion in Christmas sales.

“The 3.3 per cent growth may result in shoppers starting their Christmas shopping a little earlier this year, rather than leaving it until late December,” Mr Zimmerman said in a November 12 media release.

However, Mr Zimmerman is confident the week before Christmas will remain the busiest time for retail shopping, and therefore the most lucrative time for retailers in Australia.

Most encouraging are the figures that show all states and territories are likely to experience positive growth in the 2013 pre-Christmas shopping period.

This is an improvement on last year’s result, when Tasmania experienced a decline in sales.

The highest projected growth should be recorded in the Northern Territory, which ARA predicts will experience an increase in sales from 2012 of 5.2 per cent.

Much like in 2012, food and hospitality are expected to account for a significant per cent of the overall projected figure, while other categories such as department stores and clothing, footwear and personal accessories may rely on last minute Christmas sales and promotions for any significant growth.

If you’re wondering how to make the most of the forecast growth in Christmas sales, speak with a retail consultant.

The team at Retail Oasis can put together a retail strategy that will ensure your business is in a prime position this shopping season.

Author Pippa Kulmar

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