Australian retailers are bracing themselves for a potentially quieter Christmas as the Aussie dollar maintains its strong position.

Retailer Associations are expecting consumers to flock online to take advantage of overseas bargains.

Ashleigh Elliott reports.

[flashvideo file=http://www.qutnews.com/uploads/tv-2010-2/20101025-Online-Bargains.flv /]

TRANSCRIPT

It’s already been a fairly quiet year for retailers but they’re bracing themselves for a quiet Christmas.

The festive season was hoped to be the added boost for the retail sector but the industry now faces the combined threat of a likely interest rate rise and trend towards online shopping.

Scott Driscoll, United Retail Federation President: “We will start to see a lot more interest in online shopping and that’s something retailers need to be aware of.”

It’s something that Mr Driscoll has described as the ‘perfect storm’ for the industry.

Scott Driscoll, United Retail Federation President: “Well retailers have very much been relying on Christmas as to what is going to get them out of the rut.”

With huge savings to be made, shoppers are heading towards big-name American brands to find a bargain.

Vox 1: “I am actually, I’ve been doing a lot of scouting around and preparing for a big collective sale.”

Vox 2: “Things like jeans and make-up most definitely..I’m quite interested to spend a bit of time.”

Consumers are able to make substantial savings at the moment with electronics, books and fashion on the wish list. Some items can save shoppers up to fifty per cent, but it comes with a risk.

While there are savings to be made buying from overseas retailers, consumers face the trouble of shipping times, freight costs, returns policies and insurance.

Erica Bartle, Fashion Blogger: “Well quality insurance is something that you can’t always get online so I’d definitely look at their returns policy for goods but leading up to Christmas it’s a bit of a rush period.”

The Retailers Federation is urging consumers to support their local retailers.

Ashleigh Elliott, QUT News.