The National Retail Association predicts Australians will spend $52.4 billion this holiday period, including a record $5 billion online.

After a year of bushfires, drought, flood, pandemic, mandatory closures and movement restrictions, NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the 2020 holiday period will take on added significance as retailers look to recoup their losses.

“Many businesses desperately need a Christmas sales splurge to keep themselves afloat as we head into 2021,” Lamb said.

“With people unable to travel overseas, the continuation of government assistance measures and a thirst from shoppers to get out of the house following lockdown periods, we’re confident that consumer spending will be solid.”

Specifically, Lamb expects a 5 per cent increase in spending across the country, and a 53 per cent increase in spending online – a figure that is entirely possible after the year the industry has had. Many Aussies have been forced to use online shopping for the first time, and many are expected to continue shopping online after getting a feel for the convenience and reliability.

And while what the NRA outlines is certainly a dream scenario for retailers, many Australians may be too cash poor this holiday season to spend big, according to recent research by

According to the research, 4 out of 5 Aussie households aim to spend less this holiday season compared to prior years, or completely forego holiday spending at all.

“With many households experiencing financial hardship this year – and with an uncertain economic recovery – it may be wise to cut back spending on Christmas and holiday expenses,” said Money financial advisor Helen Baker.

“I encourage households to review their financial situation now to determine how much they can spend this summer, [and] to be conservative in their spending, particularly if they are dipping into their savings.”