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Easter spending to reach $3.4 billion

Australians are expected to fork out $3.4 billion nationwide this Easter trading season, a 2.24 per cent increase on 2018 spending, according to the National Retail Association.

This should come as welcome news to the retail sector, NRA chief executive Dominique Lamb said.

“With a holiday it’s customary to crack open a chocolate egg for brekkie, it’s no shock that the average consumer will spend $228 million on Easter-related chocolate products alone,” Lamb said.

This reflects an increase of 2.38 per cent on last year’s spending. Food and beverage spending is predicted to be up 1.8 per cent this year, while holiday and travel vendors are likely to be the largest beneficiaries, with spending in this category expected to grow 3 per cent year on year.

The main reason for this is the late occurrence of Easter this year, which has pushed it closer to another public holiday: Anzac Day.

“With Anzac Day falling only a couple of days after the Easter long weekend, many employees will take this opportunity to take extra leave over the three-day working week,” Lamb said.

Consumers are expected to spend approximately $1.5 billion on holiday and travel, and are projected to spend $28.7 million on fish and seafood, $157.2 million on alcohol, $69.7 million on pubs and bars, and $7.3 million on eggs.

Bricks-and-mortar restricts trade

But while online retail will benefit from the increased trade, retailers that run bricks-and-mortar operations, based on their location and the type and size of their business, will be forced to close in compliance with restricted trading laws.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers’ Association, is urging retailers to inform themselves about the restrictions on trade in their area, or risk facing fines.

“The ARA is concerned that retail businesses that open during prohibited times over Easter – whether inadvertently or deliberately – will find themselves slapped with hefty fines for their trouble,” Zimmerman said.

“As legislation and regulation governing Easter trading varies from state to state, the ARA strongly urges both retail businesses and their landlords to check the law as it applies where they are based.”

Zimmerman noted the case of a Sydney shopping centre that asked its tenants to open on Easter Sunday, which is illegal in NSW, where trade is restricted on that day.

“Traders who complied with this directive from centre management would be liable for a fine of $11,000 per business,” Zimmerman said.

“The ARA understands that Easter is a popular holiday, and that people like to go shopping. Even so, the law is the law, and where opening at certain times is illegal, we wish to ensure our members’ interests are protected.”

This is an edited version of a story that appeared on sister-site Inside Retail Australia. 

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