As feared, the peak Christmas shopping season of 2019 is turning out to have been much weaker versus the past few years. ANZ Bank card payments data signal sales for the period are down just over -5%. Christmas shopping accounted for a smaller share of December non-food retail expenditure, particularly in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia.
The analysts suspect strong sales in November’s Black Friday promotion were likely behind the comparable decline in December figures. Footwear and accessories were particularly weak, yet one of the strongest categories in November. Department store and clothing sales, which also experienced strong growth in November, eased significantly in December.
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