It’s not a merry Christmas for retailers, according to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA). Its weekly tracking of trade has shown over 65 per cent are trading worse than they were last year at the height of the global financial crisis.
But it’s not all bad – the ARA’s figures claimed 24 per cent were trading better than last year and that over 10 per cent were doing around the same.
ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman, said in a statement that many retailers are depending on a major rush on sales in the final days leading to Christmas.
“Traditionally consumers do leave their shopping until the last minute so retailers have all their fingers and toes crossed that shoppers will be rushing to the tills,” he said.
“By all accounts this hasn’t been a very joyous Christmas for retailers who are slashing prices pre-Christmas just to get consumers in the door.”
The Government’s stimulus package, which gave each working Australian $900 in time for Christmas 2009, was seen by most economists and industry bodies as a primary reason for a relatively strong season 12 months ago.
Since then, the Government has not provided a similar package to Australian taxpayers.