Consumers and retailers rejoice: Christmas cheer is in the air

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Australians are embracing the post-containment Christmas spirit, buying more gifts and increasing their spending on gifts from previous years, according to a new report from researchers at Monash University.

Research by the Australian Consumer and Retail Studies (ACRS) at Monash Business School found that as lockdowns ease across the country, this year’s Christmas spirit is alive and well, with the Victorians in the lead.

Victorian consumers are expected to spend more than the average Australian, with 19% more on personal care gifts, 17% more on clothing and 42% more on travel and related gifts.

Last year, many Australian consumers expected to buy less as Christmas approached. But this year, ACRS research shows that the number of Australian shoppers intending to buy Christmas gifts has risen to 92% (from 87% in 2020).

Many shoppers also expect to spend more money on their gifts this Christmas. Compared to last year, Australian consumers are expected to spend 28% more on clothes, shoes and accessories, 68% more on personal care such as cosmetics, 69% more on household items such as housewares and 65 % more in media and entertainment such as games and multimedia.

While travel and tourism-related purchases are said to be the least common type of product purchased as part of Christmas shopping, Australian shoppers are still expected to spend 253% more on these types of purchases this year.

“This is the second year that CALJ has conducted research on people’s attitudes and behaviors regarding Christmas shopping,” said Dr. Eloise Zoppos, Principal Consultant with CALJ.

“We have found that extended closures, store closures, travel bans and separation from loved ones have really had an impact on how Australians have chosen to celebrate Christmas this year. As a result, Australians are making the most of Christmas this year, spending big and planning their trip. “

While most Australian shoppers (74 percent) plan to start their Christmas shopping around the same time as in previous years, 18 percent will start earlier than usual. Fifty-five percent of Australians start shopping a month or more in advance, and 46 percent start within four weeks of Christmas.

A quarter of Victorians (22%) will start their Christmas shopping earlier than usual this year. There are three main reasons Australians start shopping earlier: 58% believe inventory levels will be lower than usual, 49% expect longer-than-usual delivery times and 47% have more time to plan their Christmas shopping.

“Although physical retail stores remain the most popular way to buy most products this Christmas, our results revealed that Australian shoppers planned to use a mix of physical and online stores to shop,” Dr Zoppos said.

Forty-two percent of Australians will buy accessories-related clothing, shoes and gifts in physical stores this Christmas season, while 32 percent will purchase toys and games in a physical store.

This Christmas, Australian shoppers expect to use physical retailer websites more than last year, with around a fifth of Australians (19%) – and a higher proportion of Victorians (25%) – expecting to use physical retailer websites (such as Myer or David Jones) more than last year for their Christmas shopping.

/ Public distribution. This material from the original organization / authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.


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