21 Dec 2015

Retailers to enjoy Xmas cheer as baby boomers splash out

It’s beginning to look a lot like a bumper Christmas for hairdressers, pet stores, cinemas, hardware stores and other retailers, as baby boomers splash out on spending.

Analysis of debit and credit card transactions by National Australia Bank (NAB) and data analytics firm Quantium, showed customers spent $9.5 billion at retailers in the first week of December, which is 3.8 per cent more than the same week last year.

NAB Executive General Manager Consumer Lending, Angus Gilfillan said the data showed a strong December for Australian retailers.

“People are choosing to spend their money on entertainment, health and wellbeing, with retailers in this sector experiencing a 10.1 per cent rise in spending in the first week of the month, compared with last year,” Mr Gilfillan said.

“Pharmacies and hardware stores are also benefiting from a jump in spending, with these sectors seeing 9.5 per cent and 8.3 per cent increases respectively.

“We have seen business conditions for retailers improve over the course of 2015 and December looks like it will be the icing on the cake.”

Quantium Executive Director Tony Davis said baby boomers are proving to have the deepest pockets at this time of the year.

“Australian consumers aged over 65 spent 5 per cent more in the first week of December than at the same time last year,” Mr Davis said.

“This is a bigger jump in spending than the 4 per cent for 45-64 year-olds, the 3.2 per cent for 25-44 year olds and the 3.9 per cent for those under 25.”


Spending in the lead up to Christmas*

Total Spending

This Year: $9.5 billion

Last Year: $9.1 billion

Change: 3.8%**

* Week ending 6 December 2015, versus the week ending 7 December 2014
** Cash-adjusted basis


Spending by category***

Category: Change

Entertainment, Health and Wellbeing: 10.1%

Pharmacy: 9.5%

Hardware: 8.3%

Liquor Retailing: 6.5%

General Retail: 4.9%

Electronics: 3.7%

Fashion: 3.5%

Other Food Retailing: 2.9%

Supermarkets: 1.8%

Travel: 1.6%

Discount department stores & department stores: 1%

Charitable Organisations: -0.7%

Fuel Retailing: -3.7%

*** Categories based on Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting


Spending by age group

Age group:  Change

Over 65 years: 5%

45 – 64 years: 4%

25 – 44 years: 3.2%

Under 25: 3.9 %

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