Wagga residents are expected to spend almost $38 million on Christmas presents and festive cheer as the countdown to December 25 continues.
It comes after Commonwealth Bank’s Consumer Spending Survey predicted the average Australian will spend $593 over Christmas, totalling $11 billion across the country.
Wagga is no exception to the seasonal splurge and Business Chamber manager Anabel Williams has already observed a marked increase in shoppers around town.
“Retail shopping is definitely on the rise this month,” she said.
“We’ve had a lot of members say they’ve noticed people are starting to flood in for Christmas gift purchases.”
Retailers aren’t the only ones keeping busy with post offices around Wagga fast becoming a storm of Christmas correspondence.
“It’s getting very busy indeed,” said Ashmont post office manager Himanshu Rawal.
“We’ve had a large number of parcels delivered and collected already.”
Businesses may have feared the unveiling of online retail giant, Amazon Australia, could impact their Christmas trade but Ms Williams sees the competition as healthy.
“We’ve always been fortunate to have a strong local presence in retail and people are aware that spending money here means the community is supported,” she said.
“Obviously some shops are concerned that Amazon’s introduction to the Australian market could affect trading but it’s up to our local business to make themselves attractive and promote customer experience.”
Riverina businesses are already knuckling down for the Christmas rush and there’s little time to consider outside competition, particularly in the gift market.
“We haven’t even thought about Amazon to be honest,” said Wombats Toys co-founder Sally Crooke.
“”We don’t think they’re really in line with our range of products and it’s such a busy time of year for us anyway.”