The annual Stockland Christmas survey has revealed that shopping is still top of the list this season and customers are more prepared than ever.
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of the 1,100 people surveyed have started - or already finished their Christmas shopping, with only four per cent expected to be buying the bulk of their buy gifts in this final week suggesting an increase in customers getting prepared this Christmas and taking advantage of the early sales from retailers.
Looking back at the 2015 Stockland survey saw Aussie’s loving the last minute dash with 61 per cent stating they expected to be shopping on 23rd December and an additional 31 per cent expect to be rushing into retailers on Christmas Eve.
John Schroder, Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property, said: “While retail has been challenging in 2017, the retail figures for October were encouraging and we expect steady, positive trading conditions for retailers during the lead up to Christmas.”
“It is unsurprising to see that customers are so prepared. With regular promotions and sales across the year, customers have been savvy to jump on the bargains while they last and stock up early on their Christmas gifts.”
“We’re anticipating good growth in specialty retail sales over the period and the continued resurgence in Discount Department Store trade as shoppers seek value for money.”
“We also expect to see further uplift in casual dining as people enjoy multiple shopping visits and stop for a coffee, lunch or dinner. We also expect entertainment and leisure precincts to be popular, especially cinemas, with a host of new movies scheduled for imminent release and school holidays just around the corner.”
While consumer sentiment continues to stay stagnant across the nation, Australians won’t give up on the joy of gift giving, with nearly half (49 per cent) set to go all out and buy a small, big or multiple gifts for everyone and a third to buy presents just for the kids (31 per cent). Only two per cent are set to not buy any gifts this year at all.
When it comes to how much we are willing to spend on gifts 54 per cent of people anticipate keeping their budget to under $500, 31 per cent plan to spend between $500 and $1000 and 15 per cent will spend over $1,000.
Toys remain the top category (51 per cent), followed by food and drinks (29 per cent) and apparel (25 per cent). Gift cards and experiences continue to rise as popular choices with over half of respondents (60 per cent) set to snap up a retailer gift card this year and one quarter (26 per cent) to purchase an experience.
And while Amazon has officially arrived on our shores customers still see the Shopping Centre as king with 86 per cent of people purchasing the majority of their gifts from Shopping Centres with only 12 per cent from online and a further one per cent from markets.
John Schroder continues, “Stockland shopping centres are town centres, vibrant meeting places for customers to not just shop but to dine, meet with friends and be entertained.
“With over 420,000 customers visiting one of 40 Stockland shopping centres every day, creating a sense of connection and that true retail theatre is an integral part of what we do to make Christmas special for our customers. From ornate window displays and decorations, to photos with Santa and of course Christmas music. Shopping at this time of year should bring joy and we try to provide this across all 40 of our centres nationally.
Stockland’s survey also highlights that Christmas is the season for togetherness and giving back with two thirds set to donate to charities, a fifth of people planning to volunteer this year and three quarters set to invite someone outside of their immediate family, who may be alone, to their Christmas Day festivities.
These results reaffirm the success of Stockland’s 2017 Christmas Campaign ‘Share some Unexpected Joy’, which has amassed over one million views to date. The touching campaign launched last month and highlights that for many Christmas it is a lonely time, with over 500,0001 Australians expected to spend Christmas alone this year.
“With our ever busy lives often lacking connecting, Christmas provides an opportunity to stop, reflect and enjoy time with loved ones of which sharing a gift is precious and loved moment”, said John Schroder.
“We want to connect with our customers and help make the season brighter for everyone. We hope our heart-warming campaign brings to the fore the true meaning of this special time of year and encourage our customers to share some unexpected joy in their own life, no matter how small.”
Stockland’s Christmas video Share Some Unexpected Joy’ and associated campaign activities can be viewed at: www.stockland.com.au/christmas .To find out the full list of Christmas activities at your local Stockland centre this Christmas, visit www.stockland.com.au
*Sample size – N=1136 from NSW, QLD, WA and VIC.