Retail sector smiling on early festive cheer
QUEENSLAND retail sales led the nation in the latest round of spending statistics, as retailers surge into the make or break Christmas season.
October's retail trade figures showed sales climbed 1.1 per cent in the Sunshine State, well outpacing the national figure of 0.3 per cent growth, seasonally adjusted.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland's Dan Petrie said the state's performance was the best month on month result since April 2017.
"(And) the performance of retailers in the last two months has been a stand out next to comparable states," he said. "We have seen a boost to inventory levels which augurs well for the Christmas period, with the green shoots finally starting to appear for the Queensland economy."
Clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing was the strongest category nationally, posting 2.6 per cent growth. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food spending slipped 0.9 per cent.
National Retail Association deputy chief executive Lindsay Carroll said the result was encouraging, particularly at this time of the year.
"Retail business owners rely very heavily on the pre-Christmas and Boxing Day sales periods to sustain them during the quieter parts of the year," Ms Carroll said. "So although we would ideally like to see (national) monthly increases of 0.4 or even 0.5 per cent, we welcome the fact that these numbers are trending in the right direction as we head towards Christmas."
Meanwhile shopping destinations around Brisbane were offering customers incentives ranging from free Uber rides, Santa visits and refreshment stations to boost December sales.
Indooroopilly Shopping Centre will host their Best of Brisbane Xmas Markets through to Sunday, a free pop-up marketplace hosting 25 local brands.
Senior marketing manager Laurie Tennant said the centre's research found the average Brisbane shopper will spend just under $1000 this festive season, almost a quarter more than last year, and more than half will rely on a shopping centre to do their gift-buying.