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Where are Aussies spending their dollars this Christmas?

Christmas spending Aussies

The National Retail Association released predictions for a $50 billion retail spend this Christmas – but where are we going to be spending these dollars? What trends have we identified this Christmas, and will the bushfires devastating Australia have an impact on consumer behaviour?

Christmas trends

According to data collected by Accenture have indicated that Australians will be spending their income in three keys areas over Christmas – groceries, disposable income and utilities.

Source: Accenture


We know that Australians also boost their grocery spending around this time of year – turkeys, hams, prawns and other staples of the family Christmas feast drive plenty of traffic to the local grocery store. When it comes to grocery shopping, the discerning punter might want to take note of the most recent Christmas shopping survey by CHOICE. 22 items were bought from Coles, Woolworths and ALDI in November, with ALDI being the clear winner at $174.50 – outperforming the competitors by more than $40.


Aussies are also spending big on gift cards this year, with vouchers for retail outlets and restaurants the first choice for 56% of shoppers. This is in line with the trend of experiential gifts growing – we’re seeing increases in purchases of concert tickets, activities, and classes.

In the realm of toys (because it’s not Christmas without toys for the kids), we’re seeing a rise of educational and nostalgic options. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) toys like Artie 3000™ the Coding Robot and Lego are tipped to be massive sellers. But we’re also seeing classics like board games and Razor scooters making a comeback – something that the whole family can gather around and enjoy.

The ethics of retail

The last big Christmas trend is the rise of the “conscious consumer”. Nearly half (43 per cent) of consumers surveyed by Accenture said they want to make an impact with their money by supporting businesses that reflect their values and shopping with environmentally conscious retailers.

“There is a growing trend toward consumers spending their money on brands that reflect their values and who demonstrate they are taking positive steps to improve sustainability through their business practices,” Accenture’s Glenn Heppell said.

The success of campaigns like #BuyFromTheBush, connecting metropolitan customers with rural and regional retailers, shows that customers are clearly wanting to support locally, ethically made items and do good with their purchases.

Bushfires impacting Christmas

Trading in regional areas is expected to feel the impact of bushfires this year, with hundreds of homes destroyed and regions still battling catastrophic fires over recent weeks.

CEO of the National Retail Association, Dominique Lamb, has discussed the effects of natural disasters on retail spending.

“We know that people do not like to spend when incidents like this have happened,” Ms Lamb added.

“But we also know that our retailers get on board with these kind of events, and the certainly attempt to support wherever they can.”

We have seen that retailers, including Kmart, Australian Geographic, and Australia Post, are collecting donations to support disaster relief. So, if customers are going out and spending, they are comforted by the knowledge that their dollars are also helping out these embattled Aussies.

Aussie Christmas spending forecasts