Stockland’s 2019 Christmas survey has revealed some surprising holiday insights, and confirmed many others.
The festive spirit clearly came early this year, with a third (32 per cent) of the 1,170 people surveyed claiming to have started decorating their homes before December.
Respondents also showed hyper organisation when it came to their Christmas shopping. By early December, nearly half (49 per cent) indicated that they had already started their Christmas shopping, nine per cent had finished, and only six per cent planned to leave the task to a week out.
While online shopping continues to rise across the nation, the shopping centre experience still reigns supreme with 81 per cent of respondents stating that they will continue to purchase a majority of their gifts at a physical store.
Michelle Abbey, Stockland Head of Retail, said: “We weren’t surprised to see customers so prepared this year. With some strong pre-Christmas sales events, customers have been smart to jump on the bargains and stock up early on their Christmas gifts.
“It’s also encouraging to see that shopping centres are still customers’ preferred way to shop during the festive season. We anticipate further uplift in casual dining as people return for multiple shops and stop to enjoy a coffee, lunch or dinner with friends in the process.
“We also expect our entertainment and leisure precincts to become even more popular, with families taking advantage of the many fun activities offered in-centre during the school holidays.”
The annual ARA/Roy Morgan Christmas retail spending forecast predicts a spending increase of 2.6 per cent in 2019 to over $52.7 billion in the important pre-Christmas retail period. The same forecast predicts that Australia will see growth across all retail spending categories, led by food which is expected to increase 3.2 per cent to $21.7 billion nationally.
Stockland’s research reaffirms this with the highest increase in category-spend expected in food – 22 per cent of respondents stated that they will likely spend more on the festive feed this year than last.
Homemade dishes are likely on the menu with 73 per cent of people planning to make their Christmas Day meal from scratch, and a third (32 per cent) ready to whip out the grill and enjoy a BBQ this year.
Feelings of stress and dread were also key themes this year. Nearly a quarter of surveyed men stated they dreaded Christmas shopping (23 per cent), with 11 per cent indicating that they will leave all of their shopping to less than a week out. However, women remain the most likely to feel stressed at Christmas, with 41 per cent claiming to feel more stressed during the silly season than any other holiday.
On the flip side, Millennials are keen to get out there and shop, with nearly half (46 per cent) stating that they loved Christmas shopping. They are also more likely to ‘go all out’ with gifts, with 32 per cent stating that they will buy everyone a big gift or multiple gifts.
Ms Abbey said that Christmas continues to be a pinnacle event on the Stockland calendar and something we look forward to every year.
“We understand that there are certain pain points to Christmas and so try to do all we can to make shopping as easy, convenient and enjoyable as possible – from charity gift wrapping and free entertainment, to child minding services, roving shopping assistants and parking support in many centres.”
Stockland is also helping customers feel inspired to share the spirit with its Christmas Campaign ‘The Story of Dunder’ which has amassed over 1.8 million views to-date. The campaign focuses on the much-loved but forgotten reindeer from Down Under – Dunder – and celebrates the Australian Christmas spirit which means something a little different to everyone.
*Sample size: N=1170 from NSW, QLD, WA, VIC & SA.