November is almost over and that means three things:
1. Summer is almost here.
2. No more overgrown mustaches.
3. Sales and lots and lots of shopping ahead.
According to the Australian Retail Association and Roy Morgan Research, Christmas retail sales are expected to exceed pre-pandemic times (2019) by 11.3 per cent and could hit $58 billion dollars. This is definitely welcomed news for retail and e-commerce businesses.
After being in lockdown for prolonged periods, access to multiple consumer payment options and limited overseas travel, Australians are excited and ready to spend.
CBD businesses are experiencing increasing foot traffic and the slow but steady return of office workers is driving an energetic and lively atmosphere into retail and hospitality businesses.
After missing festivities and get-togethers for some months, this holiday season shoppers want a Christmas experience that is memorable. There are three main retail sales perfectly positioned to reap the benefits. The Black Friday Sales, Christmas Sales and Boxing day sales, so don't forget to pencil them into your diary.
Will the success of retail businesses spill over into other sectors and what does it mean for the broader business population?
Businesses of all sizes are playing catch up to make up for lost revenue and missed opportunities. Proposals that were deferred, projects that got delayed, and purchase orders and invoices that didn't get paid, have all created a backlog of pent up investment. Businesses are deciding whether to take action now, or wait till next year.
The Christmas break is approaching fast for most business owners, who are keen to capitalise on the surge in consumer confidence.
Speaking to Supplier Partners within the ICT and Industrial Equipment industry, almost every single one is positive about the outlook of business trading ahead. Customer sentiment is upbeat, with the majority of businesses pushing for projects to be completed before the Christmas break. This has resulted in increasing staff hours in efforts to complete projects faster.
Offices traditionally start winding down post mid December. Most will re-open in the first or second week of January. Essential services will work around the clock, so it is not unexpected that some non-retail organisations in certain sectors (logistics, fitness, construction and manufacturing) will experience an increase in business activity over the Christmas and New Year period. It is expected though that most non-retail sectors will experience a rebound post- Christmas.
Like many Christmas dinners, I hope that businesses experience a feast rather than famine, and that they set good foundations for the year ahead.
Some businesses will be trying to survive the Christmas period to fight another day, and hopefully what has started at the consumer level, can make its way up the supply chain to sectors impacted by the dearth of consumer and business confidence.
During this time of year, cash flow management becomes critically important, as businesses juggle staff annual leave costs, rent, stock purchases and trade terms to manage through the year. Planning to have access to alternative sources of cash or credit to ride out any short term demands is essential.
So, to all our current and future business partners... HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD FIGHT!