In spite of an online sales campaign patterned after the successful Click Monday in the U.S., a survey released on Monday said that it will still be a bleak Christmas season for Australia's retail sector.
The reason behind the gloomy outlook is the Consumer Credit Expectations Survey results by business information company Dun & Bradstreet which said that about half of Aussie households plan to spend less on non-essential items in the coming months.
Another 56 per cent expressed concern for their financial security and about 29 per cent said they would give higher priority to savings over spending.
Danielle Woods, general manager at Dun & Bradstreet, admitted that their gloomy forecast is opposite of what the firm's National Business Expectations Survey in September which said retailers could expect consumer spending to surge in the months leading to the yearend holiday.
However, Australian National Retailers Association Chief Executive Margy Osmond believes Christmas spending for 2012 would be slightly better than 2011 when deep discounts failed to convince many Aussies to part with their holiday money.
"It's not fabulous but I think that there is a certain sensation amongst retailers that given the fact the people have been very cautious and saving their money and minimising their credit card charges that we may see a little bit of up tick in discretionary spend this Christmas," News.com.au quoted Ms Osmond.
She added that the 25 basis points cut in the overnight cash rate made by the Reserve Bank of Australia and possibly another rate reduction in November may work in favour of Aussie retailers.
To further help the ailing retail industry, online retailers launched Click Frenzy, which will offer hefty discounts for 24 hours on Nov 20. However, the sale could also affect brick-and-mortar retailers who have been losing steadily their sales to online sellers in and out of the country.
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