Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2019

Perspectives

Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2019

Finding the recipe for Christmas success

Based on a survey of executives and senior management from Australian retailers, the eighth annual Deloitte Retailers’ Christmas Survey 2019 report analyses their sentiment for the Christmas period, key trends and their expectations and priorities for 2020.

Australian retail in 2019 has seen some of the toughest conditions in recent history, with current market conditions influencing the optimism of retailers this Christmas period. Whilst many retailers were pinning their hopes on recent tax cuts, the latest trading data suggests consumers have chosen to hold onto their savings. Australian retailers appear to be approaching the holiday season with some caution, as competition and market disruption reaching unprecedented levels.

Looking ahead, there are signs of more optimism amongst retailers for their prospects in 2020, with some 72% of retailers expecting to bounce back in 2020 and growth their top line. With that being said, most are not forecasting growth in excess of 5%. Key to growth prospects in 2020 are new products and online, whereby investing in online business will be imperative to maintain and grow market share.

Key takeaways
  • Only 62% of retailers expect to see higher sales this Christmas compared to last year compared to 80% in 2018, with just under 40% expecting to see some form of Christmas period margin decrease.
  • Online sales continue to be a standout area of growth, with 58% of retailers expecting to see growth of 10% or more in online Christmas sales, down from 79% in 2018.
  • When to discount and by how much remains a critical decision, with 39% of retailers planning to discount before Christmas to drive sales compared to 31% in FY18 through sales campaigns such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Over a quarter of respondents highlighted customer service as the most important driver of sales this Christmas, just behind digital and omni-channel offerings.
  • 42% of respondents believe that social, ethical and environmental responsibility is not important to their brand. However, 91% of retailers surveyed believe that customer loyalty to their brand is good or strong – a concerning perception gap which indicates the that Australian retailers may not be responding to the growing demand for organisations to operate in a responsible manner.
  • As we look forward toward 2020, 72% expect to see positive sales growth in calendar year 2020, down from more than 90% for 2019. Only 11% expect new stores to drive growth, which has consistently trended down from the height of 2017 where 43% highlighted this as a key growth driver.

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 2019

Download the report
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