Given the current concerns about the economy, including worries about stagnating wage growth and evidence that consumers are saving rather than spending their money, Australian businesses may have anticipated a relatively lacklustre Christmas.
Recently released figures in Roy Morgan’s 2019 Christmas Retail Sales Forecast, which is conducted in conjunction with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), may prove an encouraging sign though.
That’s because retail spending is projected to grow by 2.6% to $52.7 billion over the 2019 Christmas period - up from $51.4 billion in 2018.
In fact, Roy Morgan is predicting growth in all six of the retail spending categories it tracks: food, household goods, hospitality, apparel, department stores and other retailing.
Among these areas, spending on food is set to increase the most (up 3.2% to $21.7 billion) followed by a 3.0% increase in apparel purchases ($4.2 billion).
"The annual ARA/Roy Morgan Christmas retail spending forecasts predict a spending increase of 2.6% in 2019 to over $52.7 billion in the important pre-Christmas retail period. This is slightly below the 2.8% growth of a year ago although remains well above the current ABS Inflation rate of 1.7%,” said Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine.
“The small drop in growth from a year ago is in line with other indicators such as the ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index which is now at 111.1 and has averaged 112.0 since early September. This is about 5 points down on a year ago when the index averaged 117.4 in the pre-Christmas period of 2018.”
On a state-by-state basis, spending in New South Wales is expected to be the highest at around $16.8 billion followed by Victoria at $13.8 billion, while the ACT ($959 million) and Northern Territory ($488) round out the lower end of the spending chart.
Queensland is anticipated to see the largest amount of Christmas sales growth though, with shoppers in the sunshine state set to spend just over $10.5 billion - a $3.6 billion increase from 2018.
Can businesses still make the most of the Christmas rush with last minute finance?
With Christmas less than a month away, many businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors will already be in full preparation or action mode.
But for those still thinking about taking advantage of the Christmas sales bump, or for the New Year ahead, is there still time to apply for a business loan or another source of funding?
One option could be with an online business loan, as many online lenders are now providing application and approval processes that can see businesses receive funding in their accounts in just a few business days.
“Capify are open and able to process applications throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Approval can be within 24 hours in most cases, with funding on the next business day (subject to Capify’s standard credit criteria),” said Capify General Manager Sales & Operations, Garry Turner.
Turner reminded businesses do their due diligence before taking out a loan though: both in regards to finding a reliable lender, and making sure that the loan fits their needs.
“For unsecured loans, ensure the lender is a member and signed up to the AFIA Code of practice. This is particularly important as there are some lenders out there who do not use or adhere to any standardised small business lending guidelines, or offer you any protection as a customer,” he said.
“Ensure the repayment schedule meets your requirements and advise the lender if your business is going to be closed over the Christmas period so your unique scenario is taken into consideration, and you are not proposed terms that will be a detriment to your business.”
Wondering if your own business could make use of a loan for the Christmas or New Year period?
Start your search today by checking out the hot offers in the table below, including Capify’s Unsecured Small Business Loan which will offer eligible borrowers who apply between Dec 1 - Dec 31 the first month of their loan interest free*.
Otherwise to compare even more offers from both online lenders and banks, head over to the Mozo business loans comparison hub.
*Check out the Capify website for more information about their offer.