Rise in retail spending on the cards for Cairns businesses
CAIRNS retailers are hoping a forecast increase in statewide Christmas spending will be reflected in a boost for local trade.
An Australian Retail Association report says festive season sales in Queensland from November 14 to December 25, across food, household goods, apparel, department stores and hospitality sectors, will lift spending to $8.4 billion, up 4.4 per cent on last year's total.
Australian Retail Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said the figures paint a positive picture.
"While we by no means expect shoppers to be beating down the doors to go Christmas shopping, especially in the early stages, the figures represent growth which will see retailers hear some rings of their tills and gift recipients willfind presents under the tree," he said.
Intime Surf and Streetwear owner Anita Gardiner hopes the projection is indicative of strong Far Northern Christmas sales.
"It would be great, it is a positive sign," the Cairns store owner said.
"I've had a couple of people come in already to buy presents, skateboards, board shorts and things like that for Christmas," she said.
Maurizio Jewellery Designs owner Maurizio Fenu said there had been a noticeable increase in customers looking for Christmas gifts.
"Tourists are starting to buy gifts to take home, while locals will think about it a bit longer because they have the opportunity to shop around."
Cairns Central's Australian Geographic store manager Kathryn Williams has noticed Christmas shopping ramp up over the past two weeks.
"It's definitely the busiest time of the year, though we are busiest during the two weeks before Christmas when everyone realises it's getting close," she said. "Anything gadgety is really popular this year."
Cairns Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Deb Hancock said there was a strong indication local spending would be healthy this year.
National Christmas spending is expected to reach about $41.2 billion, up on last year's $39.7 billion.
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