Christmas shopping to peak lunchtime Friday 23rd in a last-minute rush

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Christmas will seemingly creep up on millions of Australians, with NAB data revealing 12pm – 1pm on Friday 23 December will be the hour when festive shopping spikes.

NAB credit and debit card transaction data suggests Australians could spend more than $400 million in the 60-minute lunchtime window alone if last year’s trends continue, doubling the average hourly spending of $200 million over the rest of the day.

Australian shoppers are expected to spend $4.8 billion in total on Friday 23 December this year, up 15% on the $4.2 billion spent on the same day in 2021.

Analysis of more than 30 million transactions in the five days leading up to Christmas also revealed Point Cook in Victoria and Mosman in NSW as the suburbs where Australia’s top shoppers live.

In Victoria, the top shoppers live in Point Cook, followed by Melbourne, Brighton, Berwick and Werribee. In NSW, following Mosman, the state’s top shoppers live in Dubbo, Port Macquarie, Orange and Sydney.

Based on NAB’s card transaction data:

  • Food retailers, restaurants and bars, clothing stores, petrol stations and liquor and tobacco stores are expected to be the top five spending categories.
  • While online shopping continues to grow in popularity, 80% of transactions are likely to happen in bricks-and-mortar stores.
  • Victorians were 2021’s NAB Top Christmas shoppers (spending $547.5 million), followed by NSW ($529.7 million) and Queensland ($422.8 million).

NAB Executive, Everyday Banking Experience Kylie Young said transaction data showed Aussies loved a deadline.

“While many Aussies are excited about celebrating Christmas with their loved ones, we know it can also be a little stressful getting their shopping done in the lead up to the big day,” Ms Young said.

“With Christmas this year falling on a Sunday, plenty of us will be leaving our shopping until Friday and embracing the last-minute rush, especially at lunchtime.”

“It can be easy to get swept up in the excitement and overspend, or buy more than you need, which is why it’s important to set a budget and have a plan, both of what to buy and how you’ll pay.”

Ms Young said a growing number of Australians will be use online payments for their shopping.

“We’re predicting more than 51 million log-ons to the NAB app – or almost 9,000 a minute – in the days leading up to Christmas,” she said.

“We anticipate a significant number of people will check their banking app or internet banking from mobile phones while they’re shopping on-the-go.”

Ms Young said it was also important to remain vigilant for scam text messages while waiting for last minute packages to arrive.

“We see an increase in phishing messages and spoofing scams pretending to be from delivery companies during key shopping periods, including the lead up to Christmas,” she said.

“If you’re in any doubt, don’t click on any links in suspicious-looking messages and contact the delivery company directly through their official channels.”

Note to editors:

  • Data sourced from more than 30 million NAB credit and debit card transactions between Monday 20 December to Friday 23 December 2021 inclusive.
  • 23 December 2022 predictions are based on forecast year-on-year growth and recent retail spending data.

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