Aussies spend record amount at Christmas

Dominic Giannini |

Australians have spent a record $75 billion in the lead-up to Christmas but the spending frenzy didn’t stop there. 

The Australian Retailers Association also recorded unprecedented growth on Boxing Day with the $1.2 billion spend equating to 15 per cent more than last year.

CEO Paul Zahra said 2022 was the biggest festive season on record. 

“It is unprecedented,” Mr Zahra said.

He said the spend was propped up by Australians wanting to reward themselves after a tough year as well as price drops attracting customers struggling with rising costs.

“It is remarkable that in this period of economic turbulence, traders have well and truly smashed it out of the ballpark as consumers revelled in ‘freedom’ spending,” he said.

“Australians are seeing shopping as an experience and a reward after such a challenging period.”

Growth was spurred by department stores raking in $150 million on Boxing Day, with sales up almost 25 per cent from last year.

The data compiled by Westpac DataX found household goods made up the largest proportion of spending, with $315 million dished out on Boxing Day.

Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services were up 23 per cent and clothing and apparel 20 per cent.

DataX head Jade Clarke said the de-identified analysis of card spend gave important insights into Australians’ habits.

“The data shows that despite a year of increasing living costs, Australian retail sales have remained strong over the holiday period, improving on last year,” she said.