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Retailers: No Christmas Miracle, 2013 ‘More of The Same’

  Graeme Cunningham, CEO of the Betta Living Group, said Christmas 2012 sales were basically on par with last year.

“Sales were pretty much in line with last year for December, with a lift in the last 2 weeks, varied a little across the country but fairly consistent,” Cunningham told Channel News.

Betta Living which recently expanded its store numbers taking several Retravision stores under its wing, said it had some “good results” in IT products sales as well as portable appliances and coffee machines.

“We did see improvements in some whitegoods as well.”

Looking forward to 2013, Queensland based Betta Living boss said it will be “more of the same.”

“We are not expecting any growth in general. We may see an improvement late in the year but depends largely around consumer confidence in the political arena.”

JB Hi-Fi CEO Terry Smart would not divulge how his business fared over the crucial trading period when quizzed by CN, but said all will be revealed when the retailer releases its financial results early February.

Stats released by the ABS last month showed a 0.1% drop in retail sales in November, although many were hoping this was a mere blip before the tills start ringing for the Christmas rush.

And, notably, ‘Other’ retailing, which includes electronics, rose 1%.

Harvey Norman’s Chairman said he had a good month in December, with franchisees witnessing a slight rise in trading, Gerry Harvey said this week.

  Harvey, who was busy with his Magic Millions horse event in the Gold Coast, which he says is a good indicator of the economy in general.

And a normally downcast Harvey said things were looking up: “there’s enough business confidence out there to suggest that we might be at the start of an upturn,” he told The Australian.

“But it will need more than this,” he said, referring to his mammoth horse trading event which saw $67.6 million change hands for some fine fillies.