Aussie Retailers Were Hit Hard This Easter, Says Vend Data

Easter chocolates on display in a shop window in Bruges, Belgium

While we were basking in the glory of four days off work, turns out retailers this Easter were hit harder this year than previously.

Data from retail management software company Vend suggests retail spending peaked the weekend before the Easter long weekend across all of March. Shopping over the Easter holiday dropped 50 per cent compared to the rest of March in the capital cities, however increased three figures in some holiday towns.

“Overall, Australian retailers this year saw a real drop in sales over the Easter period, particularly in the main cities as everyone headed off on holiday, and the drop seems to be even bigger than last year,” said Vaughan Rowsell, founder of Vend.

Some holiday destinations however were raking in the customers.

Arthurs Seat outside of Melbourne had 355 per cent increase in average sales over Easter compared to the rest of March.

Blueys Beach in New South Wales had a 354 per cent increase, Kingscliff in New South Wales had a 325 per cent increase and Noosa in Queensland had a 205 per cent increase.

“Sales on Easter Saturday were pretty high across the board though, which shows that Australians are keen to shop and eat out over the Easter period, but trading restrictions make it hard for retailers to capitalise on this,” added Rowsell.

Many shops were closed or had limited opening hours across the Friday, Sunday and Monday.

The data from Vend shows food and drink stores fared the best on the Saturday, with sports and outdoors the worst.

  1. Food and drink – 54 per cent
  2. Electronics and computer stores – 37 per cent
  3. Tourism and adventure – 37 per cent
  4. Homewares and gifts – 36 per cent
  5. Fashion and apparel – 35 per cent
  6. Health and beauty – 35 per cent
  7. Sports and outdoor 15 per cent

“More and more, consumers expect to be able to shop wherever and whenever it suits them – whether that’s online or in a store – and they view Easter as any other shopping weekend. It might be nice to think we all want to just get away to the beach and switch-off over the Easter break, but that’s not always the case,” said Rowsell.

“While our data shows that retailers in popular holiday locations fare better over Easter than others, they are often still subject to things like penalty rates which make it difficult for them to turn a profit and provide really great customer service – often working during a busy time with less staff and stock than usual.

“We believe Australian retailers need to be better supported so they can make the most of what is a fantastic holiday period and better meet the needs of modern customers, which is an easily accessible, convenient and sophisticated service.”

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