Based on a survey of senior executives from Australian retailers, the seventh annual Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2018 report analyses their sentiment for the Christmas period, key trends and their expectations and priorities for 2019.
The overall market has performed relatively well in 2018 and, in spite of some dark clouds lurking on the horizon in terms of the broader economy, Australian retailers appear to be carrying this optimism into the Christmas trading period, with survey respondents expecting to increase both their sales and profit margins compared to last year.
Looking ahead, retailers still remain relatively bullish about their prospects for 2019, with over half of survey respondents expecting consumer confidence to decline in the next 12 months, but more than 90% expect to see positive sales growth in 2019, and nearly a third are predicting growth in excess of 10%.
- 80% of retailers expect to see higher sales this Christmas compared to last year, with 41% predicting growth of 5% or more
- Online is set to be a key battlefield this Christmas, with 79% of survey respondents expecting to experience growth of 10% or more in online Christmas sales
- With a further 12 months of trading under its belt, the presence of Amazon in Australia hasn’t seemed to faze Australian retailers, with 83% predicting Amazon will have no impact on their Christmas trading performance
- There is a continued shift in strategic thinking, with customer and omni-channel being the key strategic priorities for two thirds of survey respondents
- “Responsible retailing” is also becoming a key strategic focus for many retailers as customers are voting with their wallets and demanding products from companies that align to their own cultural values and beliefs.