• Gifts and vacations top our Christmas spending list
  • Commonwealth Bank reveals the busiest shopping days of the year for small businesses
  • Small businesses offered free Business Reviews to help them prepare for the Christmas spending rush

26 November 2012: With Christmas Day less than a month away, new research from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has revealed that Aussies are set to spend over $16.2 billion, on everything from festive vacations to the Boxing Day sales, during Christmas 2012.

The multi-billion dollar spend during Christmas is largely going to benefit businesses in the retail and travel industries, as consumers plan to spend big on Christmas gifts, vacations and during the Boxing Day sales. However, other businesses in the hospitality and grocery industries could also see an uplift in sales as consumers plan to increase their spend on food and drink in and out of the home this Christmas.

According to the study of more than 1,000 Australians, we're planning to spend the bulk of our cash on Christmas gifts, with the average Aussie planning to spend $475, equating to a total consumer spend of $7.8 billion nationwide. While 3.3 million Australians will spend an average of $1,152, or $3.7 billion nationally, on vacations during the festive period.

Other areas Australians plan to spend their dollars on during the Christmas period include:

  • Boxing Day sales ($2.2 billion)
  • Entertaining friends and family ($1.6 billion nationally)
  • Extra food and drink for the home ($554 million nationally)
  • Extra food and drink out of home ($359 million nationally)

Interestingly for retail businesses, Aussies are planning to buy the vast majority (70 per cent) of their Christmas gifts at bricks & mortar stores, with less than a third (30 per cent) of gifts planned to be purchased online. This means that a total of $5.5 billion will be spent in bricks & mortar stores verses $2.3 billion online.

According to Adam Bennett, Executive General Manager, Local Business Banking, Commonwealth Bank, these results show that businesses across the country should have an opportunity to claim their piece of the Christmas spending pie.

"We know that the unpredictable nature of the current economic climate means many businesses are still adverse to taking unnecessary risk, but our research shows that many businesses should be actively looking to take advantage of the millions of Aussies who plan to open their wallets this Christmas."

Busiest Shopping Days of the Year

When it comes to the days we plan to spend the majority of our cash, a survey of over 1,000 small business workers revealed stark differences between online and offline businesses. For online businesses in the retail industry, the highest volume of sales is expected to be between Friday, 7 December and Monday, 10 December1, while bricks & mortar retail businesses expect their busiest shopping days to be between Thursday, 20 December and Saturday, 22 December2. Contrastingly, both online and offline businesses in the hospitality sector expect their busiest periods to be between Friday, 21 December and Sunday, 23 December.

As businesses across the country get ready to prepare for the lucrative festive period, Commonwealth Bank is offering all small businesses a free Business Review to help them take advantage of, and plan for, the busiest shopping time of the year.

"Our research shows that there's still time to make final preparations ahead of the busiest shopping days of the year, which is why we're offering all small businesses the chance to meet with a Local Business Banker and get a free Business Review to help them take full advantage of consumer spending during Christmas 2012." said Mr Bennett.

All businesses looking to take advantage of Commonwealth Bank's free Business Review should visit the Contact Us section on www.commbank.com.au/business

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Louisa Galligani
Commonwealth Bank
P: (02) 9118 1784 | M: 0468 987 335| E: louisa.galligani@cba.com.au

Notes to editors

Consumer expenditure breakdown

The following figures are based on the projected spending during the Christmas 2012, between 1 December 2012 and 6 January 2013.

Spend per Australian Total spend nationwide
Christmas gifts $475 $7.8 billion
Christmas vacations $226 $3.7 billion
Boxing Day sales $136 $2.2 billion
Entertaining friends and family $100 $1.6 billion
Extra food and drink at home $34 $554 million
Extra food and drink out of home $22 $359 million
TOTAL $993 $16.2 billion

About the research

  • The study was conducted amongst 1,060 Australians aged 18 years and over.
  • Surveys were distributed throughout Australia including both capital and non-capital city areas.
  • Fieldwork commenced on Friday, 19 October and was completed on Monday, 22 October 2012
  • After interviewing, data was weighted to the latest population estimates sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

1 Based a survey of 1,030 Australians aged 18 years and over who are a business owner or business decision maker of an organisation with under 200 employees.

2 Based a survey of 1,030 Australians aged 18 years and over who are a business owner or business decision maker of an organisation with under 200 employees. 

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