Christmas cheer for electronics retailers

Published 08 January 2014 13:37, Updated 09 January 2014 10:25

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Christmas cheer for electronics retailers

Shoppers browse the range of tablets at Harvey Norman in Canberra in December. Jay Cronan

Australian retailers are cautiously ­optimistic the holiday season and ­ensuing sales will beat last year’s ­Christmas period but stopped short of calling it a full-scale recovery.

Electronics retailers are expected to have fared particularly well, with Citi analyst Craig Woolford predicting computer tablets were one of the strongest performing categories.

“The drop in price points and expansion of choice made tablets popular gifts again in 2013,” Woolford says. “JB Hi-Fi is very well placed in the tablet category, much more so than Harvey Norman.”

Citi believes JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, David Jones and Super Group all profited from a Christmas spending binge.

David Jones is expected to have far outperformed rival Myer during the Christmas period, with Citi estimating sales for DJs sales to be up 2.1 per cent, with Myer struggling to keep up at 0.4 per cent in second quarter.

The Australian retail sector had ­suffered a downturn over the past three years with the high dollar, political ­uncertainty and the rise of online retailers affecting sales. However, there are muted signs that confidence is returning.

The Australian Retailers Association predicts spending in the post-Christmas period to hit $15.1 billion, up from $14.8 billion last year, but while individual retailers noted positive sales and foot ­traffic, they said the recovery had yet to gain traction.

Read the full story on The Australian Financial Review.

Now read Rebecca Huntley: 2014 dawns with consumer mood of ‘modest optimism’

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