09/02/2020 | Rob Lucas MLC | More Jobs

The second year of Boxing Day trade across suburban Adelaide was a ‘roaring success’, with new industry figures revealing record consumer demand last year, as more than 150,000 South Australians and holidaying tourists flocked to the ‘burbs to bag a post-Christmas bargain.

Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) data, using a sample of its member centres, which includes SA’s largest centre Westfield Marion, shows foot traffic continued to build on the success of Boxing Day trade in 2019 – with one centre experiencing a 12.4% jump in Boxing Day customers compared with the previous year.

SCCA research also shows the majority of tenant retailers (83%) voluntarily chose to open their doors on the day, providing valuable job opportunities for staff who wanted to work additional hours and earn extra income.

SCCA analysis of credit card data for 2018 also highlights that for every $1 spent with a large retailer, almost $3 was spent with a smaller retailer.

Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the latest survey results as further proof of South Australians’ enormous appetite for shop trading hours reform, which will help grow the economy and create more jobs.

“Anyone who saw the huge crowds bursting into suburban centres on Boxing Day will know that South Australian consumers are crying out for change and greater freedom of choice when it comes to shop trading,” said Mr Lucas.

“At Tea Tree Plaza alone, we saw queues dozens deep waiting for the doors to open at 9am, and significant numbers were still shopping right up until the doors closed at 5pm.”

There were similar scenes in Rundle Mall with a rush on clothing and footwear, cosmetics, electrical and electronic goods as well as reduced price Christmas decorations.

2019 was only the second year in history that all suburban retailers have had the opportunity to open on the Boxing Day public holiday, after Mr Lucas granted a special Ministerial exemption under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977 to allow them to trade.

“It’s crazy, in this day and age, when we have retailers under more competition than ever before due to the rise in online shopping, that retailers have to come cap in hand to me as the Minister to seek permission to open extended hours.

“Our view is simple, if traders want to trade, consumers want to shop and there are employees willing and able to work, why should our silly shop trading laws stop them?”

“While the Shoppies’ union and Labor want to stymie economic and jobs growth, the Marshall Liberal Government will continue to campaign for greater freedom of choice in shop trading.”