The Easter holidays are quickly approaching as we ready ourselves for the colder months and mourn the end of Summer. Easter will commence with Good Friday on the 25th of March and end with Easter Monday on the 28th March.
In Australia, the majority of the population are not regular Churchgoers, so Easter has become a time when people look forward to being with family and friends at functions, events and dinners.
Australians will most likely spend their Easter at home or on a domestic holiday.
What opportunities are there for retailers?
As well as being a time for celebration, Easter is a time for profitable increases in the retailing sector. In 2013, IBISWorld forecast that Australians would spend $3 billion on Easter. This equates to approximately $133 per person– a $3 increase from 2012. So in 2016, retailers can expect this number to steadily increase.
Food purchases, as to be expected, will also increase, accounting for $1.55 billion of Easter spending. In 2013, spending on chocolate and confectionary reached $185.7 million (or the equivalent of a family block of chocolate for every man, woman and child) and this is expected to increase further in 2016.
Considering the trend of staying at home for Easter, butchers, supermarkets, fishmongers and bottle shops will have an increase in consumer activity.
Overseas statistics suggest an increase in clothing purchases to celebrate a new season, where 45% of those celebrating Easter will purchase new clothing over Easter.
Many overseas tourists will find comfort in the cooler March temperatures of Australia and the tourism industry is forecast to boom during this time. Tourists and locals alike will take advantage of outdoor activities such as camping, cycling and heading to the beach.
There will also be an increase in the sales of traditional Easter items such as gifts, flowers, decorations and greeting cards.
Overseas, 23.8% of shoppers were forecast to buy Easter goods from small businesses and 18.8% of consumers were forecast to buy from specialty stores such as florists and jewellers. This trend will also affect Australian retailing for Easter 2016.
How can I make the most of this opportunity?
In order to prepare for the Easter break, we encourage small businesses to take advantage of promotions, which are fundamental in increasing sales. Be sure to have your Easter discounts, loyalty programs and two-for-one deals figured out and advertised in your store and on your website. Also, look at “Easter Window Displays” on Pinterest for some fabulous inexpensive window and store decoration ideas.
Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, says food retailers need to think about how best to promote their products. He describes an opportunity “to perhaps market your Easter bunnies with another product. It’s not just about Easter bunnies – it’s about doing something else to sell with it.”
Similarly, retail guru Debra Templar, of The Templar Group, says bag-stuffers are an ideal way to boost sales.
If you are looking to book a pop-up shop or short-term specialty store, consider using this physical space in the one or two-week period before Easter, to make the most of pre-Easter shopping purchases. The long weekend itself will attract a different kind of shopper, as people spend some of their leisure time over the weekend engaging in retail therapy, as well as some last minute purchases for Easter Sunday.
As a retailer, factors such as the weather and school holidays can affect your sales. Since so much of this is outside of your control, manage what you can control and ensure your business has a profitable Easter.
What is your business going to do to increase sales this Easter?