Claudia Baxter

Retail association predicts new record in sales

RETAIL spending is expected to hit record levels as thousands flock to Boxing Day sales across the nation.

The Australian Retail Association predicted shoppers would spend about $16.1 billion in the post-Christmas sales from today until mid-January.

Post-Christmas retail spending last year hit $15.5 billion, up from the ARA's prediction of $15.1 billion.

While NSW and Victoria will lead the way in spending growth, Queensland's predicted 3.2% increase in retail spending is expected to be below the national average.

ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said spending would be up across Australia as consumer confidence began to look up.

Mr Zimmerman said the hospitality sector was expected to experience the biggest increase in spending this year.

"Looking at the actual post-Christmas sales figures for 2013 and this year's post-Christmas predictions, the hospitality sector shows the highest level of growth at 6.7%," he said.

"The reason for that is when confidence is looking up people don't go and buy, say, a fridge, which is seen as a big expense. But they might treat themselves to go out to dinner - something people look at and can afford."

Mr Zimmerman said, after a tough year for retail, the lead up to this Christmas had shown some strong results for the retail sector and more improvements were expected in the new year.

"After what has been a very tough year in business, the ARA is confident that the retail industry will enjoy a well-deserved boost in sales this Christmas and we hope this positive trend will continue into 2015," Mr Zimmerman said. 


Predicted national retail spending

NSW - $5.04 billion

Victoria - $4.001 billion

Queensland - $3.345 billion

Western Australia - $1.887 billion

South Australia - $1.047 billion

Tasmania - $323 million

Northern Territory - $177 million

ACT - $286 million

National - $16.107 billion