Retailers stuck as shoppers stay home
The AFR reported that retailers are scrambling to avoid a "liquidity crisis"; after in-store foot traffic fell 8% between Black Friday and Boxing Day, compared to 3% over the same period in the previous year. "Foot traffic appears to have been weak as shoppers continue to shift December shopping trips online and pull forward purchases into Black Friday in November," said Citi in a note reviewing the past Christmas season. Citi said that discounting had not increased, and in some cases, retailers had pulled back after "several years of discounting ramping up to unsustainable levels in some categories". Analysts attributed the steep decline in foot traffic to three broader trends: the rise of online shopping, shifts in the retail calendar, and growing cost-of-living pressures.