Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2017

Predictions

Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2017

Can Santa stand the heat this season?

Caution amongst retailers reigns this season based on survey results of Australian retailers

Based on a survey of executives and senior management from Australian retailers, the Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2017 report analyses their sentiment for the Christmas period, key trends and their expectations and priorities for 2018. Nearly seventy percent of Australian retailers expect Christmas sales in 2017 to exceed those in 2016, and despite, or perhaps because of the nervousness around sales, retailers are holding steady on margins. 42% expect consistent margins to last year (39%).

Despite the relatively stable economic environment and consumer spending throughout the year, competition for share of wallet has been intense. Whilst there have been some great success stories, at the same time a number of high profile retailers haven’t survived. There is some concern amongst respondents that this weakness may continue throughout Christmas 2017.

The online share of sales has consistently increased in every survey since 2012, and 2017 is no different. The number of retailers expecting online sales above 6% has increased from 36% to 52%, with 31% of those respondents believing their online sales will be more than 10% of their total sales for the period. This compares to 14% in 2016.

As Amazon prepares to officially launch in Australia, there is both hope and trepidation for what the impact may be. 17% of survey respondents cited Amazon as their biggest source of new competition, undoubtedly they will have an immediate as well as long lasting impact on the Australian retail sector.

But it’s not all doom and gloom – far from it. Whilst 33% of respondents believe Amazon will have a negative impact on their business, 40% believe the Amazon factor will be a benefit for them.

Looking ahead to 2018, retailers remain optimistic about their growth prospects with 51% of respondents expecting to grow their earnings by more than 5% next year which, whilst down from 60% in last year’s survey, remains a lofty aspiration.

Key takeaways
  • Nearly 70% of retailers expect Christmas 2017 sales to exceed 2016, less than half expect sales growth over 2%
  • Discounting trend sees a reverse with post-Christmas sales back in vogue
  • Over half predict online sales above 6% during the Christmas period
  • 64% say Amazon will have a negative impact on the Australian retail marketplace
  • Paradoxically, over a third see Amazon as a positive influence on their businesses.

Download the full report to view retailers’ Christmas expectations, online trends, the competitive landscape and the outlook for the next 12 months.

Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2017

Register to download the report

Deloitte's National Leader, Retail, David White speaks to Sky News about the results of our Retailers' Christmas Survey and the impact of Amazon in the Australian market.

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