General News

‘Shop early, shop often’, retailers reveal festive forecasts

The National Retail Association has today urged Australians to ‘shop early, shop often’ as the peak industry body announced it anticipates consumers to splash $60 billion nationwide throughout the festive season.

In particular, Australians thinking of getting online presents delivered are encouraged to get in now to ensure they don’t miss out on getting their preferred Christmas purchases.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb also urged Aussies to support local retailers given many have endured a difficult 2021.

“Our number one message to Australians this Christmas is to get in early to ensure you get your preferred items under the festive tree in 2021,” Ms Lamb said.

“We also urge consumers to support local retail businesses throughout the festive season. Shoppers will be spoiled for choice over the next six weeks with events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Boxing Day sales, all on top of the pre-Christmas frenzy.

“The NRA is forecasting a total of $60 billion to be spent during the Christmas trade period – the second-half of November and all of December – and that includes an online spend of over $8 billion.

“A silver lining to lockdowns is that when restrictions are lifted it does result in strong consumer spending from pent up demand. As horrible as 2021 has been for retailers who have been in prolonged lockdown, at least they’ll be open in time to cash in on Christmas.”

Nationwide sales are expected to increase by a healthy 8 per cent on the 2020 Christmas period. While online retail will experience another strong year of growth due to changing consumer behaviour and the growing popularity of events such as Cyber Monday.

“With restrictions relaxing across the country, each state and territory is on track to report solid Christmas sales growth this year,” Ms Lamb said.

“Even prior to the pandemic there was a growing trend of shoppers knocking off Christmas purchases earlier than traditionally was the case. Lockdowns and the subsequent drive towards online shopping has turbo-charged this change in consumer behaviour.

“There is still expected to be plenty of action in physical stores. Residents who have endured extended lockdowns are expected to take full advantage of once again getting out of the house to soak up the Christmas atmosphere.”

Robert Charles, General Manager North Speciality Retail, said “All signs point to this Christmas being very different. With COVID-19 restrictions easing, bricks-and-mortar stores are opening later in the season meaning that cashed-up shoppers have a condensed window in which to shop.  We are seeing higher volumes of goods moving over a shorter period which will place additional pressure on the network.

“Toll is ready and well positioned to meet the extra demand. Each year at this time we typically see a significant increase in the volume of goods moving through our warehouses, particularly over the four days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We are hiring an extra 1,400 staff and our latest fast picking automation at our warehouses will ensure that goods are delivered to stores and homes in time for the festive season.”


2020 Spend

2021 Forecast Spend

% Increase from 2020


$17.4 Billion

$19 Billion



$14.4 Billion

$15.5 Billion



$11.4 Billion

$12.4 Billion



$3.5 Billion

$3.7 Billion



$6.1 Billion

$6.6 Billion



$1.1 Billion

$1.2 Billion



$491 Million

$518 Million



$1 Billion

$1.1 Billion



$55.4 Billion

$60 Billion




2020 Spend

2021 Forecast Spend

% Increase from 2020


$5.4 Billion

$8.2 Billion


The National Retail Association is Australia’s largest and most representative retail industry association.  It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast food sectors for close to 100 years.