80 per cent of retailers are expecting to see higher sales this Christmas compared to last year, according to Deloitte Australia's most recent Retailers' Christmas Survey.


The report indicates that 41 per cent of Aussie retailers are predicting growth of five per cent or more over the trading period thanks to a strong product mix and increases in online sales. 79 per cent of retailers are expecting that online sales will grow 10 per cent compared to 2017.


The survey found that 62 per cent of retailers are going to discount their stock, with many of them planning to do this after 25 December, and will instead entice customers into the store with personalised shopping experiences and great customer service.


National leader in the retail, wholesale and distribution group at Deloitte, David White, said that customers can expect to see innovative store designs when they come to do their Christmas shopping this year.


“The role of the store is moving away from just being a transactional space to an opportunity to build brand through an experience and service that can often only be achieved face-to-face with the customer.


“To this end, customers can expect to enjoy innovative store designs and concepts this Christmas, as retailers experiment with new ways to build brand and connect with customers.”


In 2017, the survey showed that many retailers were focused on growth through store openings, however now, they expect growth to come from new product offerings.


“This shift reflects both the increasing saturation of the Australian market as well as the bigger investments retailers have made in developing their omni-channel strategies,” White said.


“The roles of the store will continue to be a critical part of retailer strategies, but it seems they are confident their investment in digital will provide the impetus needed to drive their growth aspirations in 2019.”


White said that the first week of December will make for an interesting period for retailers as consumers choose to shop later and later every year.


“With shoppers choosing to look and buy later and later each Christmas, helped by continuing improvements in online offerings and faster and more reliable delivery services, the first trading week in December will be of intense interest, and likely to cause at least some jittery nerves.”


What are your expectations for the Christmas trading period? Leave your comments below.


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