SHOP LOCAL: Bev Tainsh, owner of Magella Rose in Lismore, in front of her window display. She has been getting busier in the store as Christmas gets closer.
SHOP LOCAL: Bev Tainsh, owner of Magella Rose in Lismore, in front of her window display. She has been getting busier in the store as Christmas gets closer. Cathy Adams

Tills ring out Christmas cheer for retailers as rush begins

TWENTY-THREE days to go until Christmas … and those tills are starting to ring loudly.

Projections released by the Australian National Retailers' Association shows New South Wales Christmas spending is expected to provide a welcome boost to the economy.

"New South Wales can expect a $2.3 billion boost as shoppers move their Christmas preparations into second gear this week," Association chief executive Anna McPhee said.

About 80% of NSW spending was expected to take place at bricks and mortar stores and cafes and restaurants ($1.86 billion) while shoppers were likely to spend another $480 million online, she said.

At the same time, credicardfinder.com.au predicts the price tag for gifts nationally will be around $8.3 billion or an average of $488 per adult.

Lismore retailer Beverley Tainsh, of Magella Rose, who sells bath and body and baby and child products as well as homewares and manchester, said trade had already been brisk.

"I think we are heading for a better year than last year, especially when people suddenly realise it's almost Christmas," she said.

At Bike & Mowers in East Ballina, Burce Syme said everything from two-year-old pushbikes to road bikes had been selling well.

"It's not one thing in particular," he said. "It's across the board."

Ms McPhee added that online purchasing had become an important part of the retail mix and is expected to make up around 15 per cent of total sales over the Christmas and sales period.

A recent survey of Christmas shoppers conducted by the association suggested almost one in five consumers will shop online for Christmas.

"Around 60 per cent of online Christmas shoppers indicated they would make purchases at a mix of Aussie and international retail sites," said Ms McPhee.

"Shoppers cited convenience, price and variety as the main reasons they favour Christmas shopping with a click."

Aub Eardley, of Northern Rivers Business Enterprise Centre, said it was important for the future of local businesses to support them by keeping dollars in the area.

Gift ideas

If you haven't got around to buying Christmas gifts yet, here's a few staples to please almost anyone, says Joanne Millar and Debbie Jarratt, of Bangalow's Millar and More.

  • Mixed nuts or sweets
  • A food hamper with wine or champagne and a Christmas cake
  • Scented candles
  • Linen or tableware
  • A set of wine or beer glasses
  • A voucher for their favourite shop or beauty salon
  • A recovery package that includes pampering items
  • The latest novel by their favourite author


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