Australian shoppers are tipped shake off their COVID-19 blues and spend big this Christmas.
The forecast splurge will mark the start of a much needed retail recovery for the pandemic-ravaged sector, The National Retail Association says.
“Retail has experienced a roller-coaster year, with businesses across Australia forced to navigate lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19,” chief executive Dominique Lamb said on Friday.
“Many businesses desperately need a Christmas sales splurge to keep themselves afloat as we head into 2021.”
The NRA says that’s likely to happen with retail sales for the festive season set to surpass $50 billion, a five per cent increase on 2019.
“With people unable to travel overseas, the continuation of government assistance measures and a thirst from shoppers to get out of the house following lockdown periods, we’re confident that consumer spending will be solid,” Ms Lamb said.
The COVID crisis has forced shoppers to adapt, with online Christmas sales forecast to break the $5 billion barrier for the first time this season.
Attractive November sales events, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have also led to many people choosing to get stuck into their Christmas shopping early.
But traditionalists need not worry, the Boxing Day Sales are set to remain for those shoppers who love the stampede to the shopping centres.