02/11/2011 - 12:32

RTA forecasting $3bn Christmas splurge

02/11/2011 - 12:32

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RTA forecasting $3bn Christmas splurge

The state’s peak retail body says Western Australian retailers are expecting bumper Christmas sales results following the Reserve Bank’s decision to cut interest rates yesterday.

The Retail Traders Association has forecast a record $3 billion will be spent on sales this Christmas, on the back of yesterday’s rate cut and strong population growth in WA.

The forecast will be welcome news for struggling retailers who have had to deal with a highly competitive and heavily segmented consumer landscape over the past 12 months, RTA executive director Wayne Spencer said.

“Those retailers who have not come to terms with these changes have and will continue to lose their market share which will place stress on their business,” Mr Spencer said.

“Cost pressures continue to weigh on profit margins within the industry, especially in areas of variable costs which includes items such as utilities, government charges, rent and payroll.

“Costs have now become out of proportion with current sales and the trends ahead.”

Mr Spencer said the RTA was “extremely concerned” that despite a strong Christmas forecast, many retailers are struggling to manage margin and cost pressures.

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